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Marlowe Sand recollects 15 years of relentless pursuit of liberation as a student of guru, Andrew Cohen.
For a woman from the remote English countryside destined to be a wife, mother and ordinary professional, the meeting with a modern-day, radical Buddha bore extreme consequences for her and her children.
She develops her story in intriguingly deft strokes, capturing the interior experiences of a person being drawn ever deeper into the cult setting of a charismatic and despotic guru.
She invites the reader to share her experiences of love and liberation, pain and agony and excruciating disillusionment.
Marlowe Sand doesn't blame, instead she paints a picture of a complex, dangerous phenomena.
While she is unambiguous about the destructive nature of this communal setting and each participants' responsibility for its co-creation, Marlowe's reckoning is with herself.
Paradise and Promises is a spiritual memoir by coincidence but more importantly it is an audacious self-reflection on choices, consequences and reconciliation.
Almost anyone will find this stark "coming of age" narrative compelling.
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