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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Reluctant Psychic

ISBN: 9781250047717
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 01/27/2015
Format: Other
My Rating: 4 Stars
A Memoir
We all, as children, had our imaginary friends and monsters in the closet. But for Suzan Saxman, those friends and monsters didn’t go away—and they weren’t imaginary.
From an early age, Suzan knew instinctively that she had to hide her true self. She couldn’t talk about the specters who haunted her, waking and dreaming. In bed with a childhood fever, winged beings guarded her; bullied and friendless at school, she ate lunch silently under the steps of St. Theresa’s with the ghost of a nun; paralyzed with fear, she woke each night to see a man with no eyes, watching her; and she kept watch at the window, every day, while her real father was at work and Steve, her other father, was with her mother. It was the 1960s in suburban Staten Island and she tried to hide it all—to silence the spirits, ghosts and her own developing abilities to tap into people’s futures. She tried to be a daughter her mother could love.
Now, with Perdita Finn, Suzan tells the story of her journey in The Reluctant Psychic, and tries to make sense of her mother’s own personal buried secrets that were never acknowledged. She tells of the joy and terror in seeing things others couldn’t and understanding what no one else expected—and the loneliness and sadness of possessing a tremendous gift. Through powerful readings of others’ destinies interwoven with compelling narrative, a reluctant psychic emerges into the light.

My Review

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGallety for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Suzan Saxman shares a powerful and compelling memoir of her life and challenges, with special psychic gifts, both positive and negative in THE RELUCTANT PSYCHIC. Suzan lived in fear with her special powers and abilities, throughout her childhood, as afraid her parents may send her away thinking she was strange. At night time it was difficult for her to sleep with all the voices, visions, and spirits surrounding her. She was in constant state of pulse-pounding adrenaline; a fueled state of high alert. She did not have an easy childhood – growing up in a severely dysfunctional family, with a disturbed abusive mother who recruited Susan to keep the identity of her real father (and mother's lover) secret. She was compulsive and almost blind and worried about everything. She tried to keep her abilities to herself, especially at school as she was teased and bullied at her Catholic school (your heart goes out to her). She dreamed of going back to England and going to school to study literature, history and psychology; however, her mom continued to put her down. From childhood to adulthood, with struggles along the way to a clairvoyant. I do believe certain people have gifts, and as mentioned some artists and highly creative people see the world differently from their eyes. On a personal note: Being highly creative myself (not a psychic); however, very intuitive. My limited experience with a psychic years ago in New Orleans was quite interesting. A woman read my tarot cards, seeing a huge legal battle ahead of me which would last for years and she could see tons of paperwork, legal papers, etc. It would be emotionally draining. I had no legal problems at the time, and was an associate publisher with a great job in Atlanta. However, about five years later, I took a job in Florida and became involved in a high profile Whistleblowing SOX case. It was non-stop depositions, interrogatories, attorneys, legal battles, lasting about five years. (So, you could say, I do believe she had a gift). I was intrigued by Suzan’s genuine story, her mentors, her life, and her courage to share her story. Told with compassion and humor, you will sympathize with her many obstacles having to attempt to live and survive in a world not always, so accepting of those with special unique gifts. THE RELUCTANT PSYCHIC was engaging, and the tidbits at the end of each chapter with brief anecdotes from respective readings with clients, and the black and white photos added a nice touch. You do not have to agree with her lifestyle, the supernatural, or her choices to enjoy the book. (also listened to her videos). I found the memoir rather fascinating, as she manages her gift and her journey to find peace, and the ability to use her gift and talents wisely. Nicely developed, and the collaboration between Finn and Saxman was magical -- with a nice of mix of personal family drama and memorable moments with her clients in the psychic role.
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