Reincarnation – Suzanne Weyn (2008)
Reincarnation was a really remarkable book.
The cover is terrible, I was a little embarrassed to be seen reading it, but it was so very good.
Really there are two couples.
May & Kye, and Lenar & Sha.
May and Kye are almost constantly aware of their feelings for each other, though Lenar constantly wants May, and Sha constantly wants Lenar.
There is a slight Midsummer Nights Eve he-she-she-he love quadrangle to the story, and it takes a few lifetimes for Lenar and Sha to grow into the people they need to be.
Staring in Prehistory and telling the parallel tale of a Cro-Magnon woman, May, and a Neanderthal man, Kye. May is about to marry a man, Lenar, to whom she was at first attracted, but no longer wants. Kye fights with Lenar over a bison hunt both men receiving injuries which they will carry with them for the rest of their (many) lives.
In every incarnation of May and Kye they are different ethnicity and each carry the skills and peculiarities they have in this first life.
For May, a singer, her talent growing every life, a trick ankle, a pet cat, a yearning for a mother-centered religion, and a struggle with ranking in society.
For Kye, crippling headaches, prodigious archery skills, a refusal to be involved in slavery of any kind, and difficulty with words sometimes not being able to speak at all, until he conquer this and becomes a very adept poet and writer.
For Lenar, an aching jaw, steely eyes, an attractive face, athletic ability, and a slowly decreasing cruelty.
For Sha curly red hair, a cruel devotion to Lenar, and a decreasing selfishness.
I think my favourite sections are Salem, Massachusetts, 1691 and Mississippi 1964.
I must admit that I was not sure how this book was going to end, but it was deeply worth it.
Get passed the cover, you’ll be glad you did.
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Scholastic Press, 2008 304 pages ISBN: 9780545013239
Suggested Reading Level: Grade 9+
Weyn, S. (2008). Reincarnation. New York: Scholastic.
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