Mixed Blessings: My Psychic Life by Diane Lazarus

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Mixed Blessings: My Psychic Life by Diane Lazarus

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Category: Autobiography
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sharon Hall
Reviewed by Sharon Hall
Summary: Diane Lazarus' difficult childhood is compounded by a growing psychic ability, which confuses and frightens her. As these talents develop, she learns to harness them to help and advise others. An engaging read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: March 2008
Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd
ISBN: 978-0099509622

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Diane Lazarus had a troubled childhood, largely due to a violent and sadistic father, but also because of the strange sounds and visions she experienced from an early age. In other circumstances, it would seem natural for children to withdraw from this reality into a make-believe world, and it is seems clear that Diane's "hallucinations" and strange behaviour are largely put down to being a reaction to the domestic problems.

One particular vision, of a man with a strange voice and lined face, was persistent and, despite him telling her he was there to protect her, was particularly frightening. A trip to see family in Africa reveals the fact that her great-great-grandfather was a healer and indicates she is "special". Much later, the African connection throws more light on to Diane's developing psychic talents and the identity of the Lined Man.

Her father's infidelity leads to the breakdown of the marriage and happier, but poorer, times for the family. Diane by now has become accustomed to talking with spirits and explores her psychic side to entertain friends. She starts to predict events, but clearly she sees her developing abilities as mixed blessings and sets her sights on a more conventional life, working in catering and in caring for the elderly. She clearly struggles with some of the insights that her psychic ability brings, shutting our warning signs in her own and friends' relationships. It becomes clear, however, that she cannot ignore these gifts and she joins a psychic group. This is the start of her public readings and healing work and, eventually, a full-time career. The book also touches on Diane's work helping the police with murder enquiries.

The story is clearly written and easy to read, however the accounts of her father's physical and psychological abuse are sobering, to say the least. There have been many accounts of abusive families over the past few years and I have always shied away from them. On this subject, the cover of the paperback version, showing a child with shadowy figures in the background, and the blurb on wrapper, seem to place the book more squarely in this camp. (The cover of the hardback version shows a smiling, adult Diane, with the sub-title My Psychic Life.)

I would have found it interesting if the book had explored the possibility of a connection between Diane's abilities and her home life, but this was not forthcoming. What was engaging was the struggle she has had trying to live a normal life whilst having these insights.

Jane Lapotaire writes about another interesting and difficult childhood in Everybody's Daughter, Nobody's Child.

Buy Mixed Blessings: My Psychic Life by Diane Lazarus at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mixed Blessings: My Psychic Life by Diane Lazarus at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Mixed Blessings: My Psychic Life by Diane Lazarus at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mixed Blessings: My Psychic Life by Diane Lazarus at Amazon.com.

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