Authoring Self: a Journey through Dreams to the Feminine by Pearl Gregor [book review]

We are all stories. I must find a new fairy tale, a new image of woman, or rebuild the one I have found within myself. -Pearl E. Gregor, Authoring Self

Authoring Self is the second book of Pearl E. Gregor's series, Dreams along the Way. It follows I, the Woman, planted the Tree. You can read my review of the book in this blog [link]. The first book was the author's autobiography with a focus on dreams. The 'dream biography' combines the events of her life, her struggle with clinical depression, and her search for healing that led her to study dreams. In the second book, the author is getting further on her journey with dreams. I also feel like this is going deeper than the first book.

About the Author (from Amazon)
Pearl E. Gregor was born and raised in northern Alberta, Canda. She became an educator, administrator, provincial government consultant and along the way, a radical feminist. She came to writing late in life. At age 43, in a desperate search to heal clinical depression, Pearl found the inner world of meditation and dreams. The story begins in Book I in the Dreams Along the Way series, I, the Woman, Planted the Tree: A Journey through Dreams to the Feminine, which was published in late 2018. Now, healing the aftermath of repressed trauma takes Pearl even deeper into the uncharted territory of the psyche. Book II in the Dreams Along the Way series, Authoring Self: A Journey through Dreams to the Feminine, is the story of that navigation told through each new dream experience.

My Review and Reaction
Titles often give readers an impression of what a book will be about. The two words Authoring Self implies creating a new narrative of the self, another story, a re-creation or even rebirth. The book is about the author defining her own story and self amidst other existing mindsets and toxic narratives, held in a society that doesn't support or value women's experiences and stories as much.

The format of the book is similar to the first, the dreams are listed with their dates, along with the author's analyses, thoughts, and personal anecdotes and experiences. I recommend that readers start from the first book of the series to get familiar with the author's style, and this book also references the previous and continues her story from there.

In my opinion, the dreams in this book seem to be more vivid and should I say, more 'powerful' than the ones from the first book. The dreams and their details may seem weird, but below the surface, these symbols actually have a deeper meaning. Some are actually enlightening to the author's experience. They may seem like random images and scenes, but the author's enlightened reading of her own dreams from a personal and mythical lens gives them a higher meaning.

What is remarkable to me is that aside from accepting her femininity, the author also recognizes the importance of the masculine traits of the psyche. I like that she is finding balance, not just on one side.

While the author writes about her own dreams, we can also probably recognize the same images and symbols in our own dreams. This is not a handbook on dream interpretation, but it's interesting to see the process of how the author deciphers them in terms of her own experience. There are also many references to books that guided her, which is sure to be on my 'next reads' pile.

Overall, it is a strong follow-up to the first book. Feminists, dream enthusiasts, educators, and psychologists, and anyone struggling with life and looking for answers might find this book interesting.

The third and final book of this series, Cauldron of the Feminine, will also be out soon.

Get the Book: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble
More on the Author: Dreams Along the Way (website) | Facebook Page

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