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The Singing of Swans
Date of Review: 
Published Work: 
Denise Bell
The Beltane Papers

Reviewer Denise Bell writes:

Throughout the book the author has woven stories of women who each worshiped the Black Madonna, the Dark Mother, or the Divine She. Josephina and Rosalina are priestesses of Persephone in 70 BCE, one of whom will be abducted from the temple. Next we meet Fiora and Ibla, mother and daughter healers, as one suffers a horrible mutilation because of her refusal to remain quiet about the Dea Madre, Cybele. And we read of Carmela and Ziza, mother and daughter midwives accused of murder. The ancestral tales are the richest moments in the novel. Each battles persecution for their beliefs yet remains focused on their true spiritual heritage, even if they must use the cover of Catholicism to do so.

Bell adds that this "modern magical tale closes with a deeply emotional ending."