By: Josie Peterson
Publication Date: December 18, 2022
Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott
Writer and actress Josie Peterson adds to her works with this dark yet shimmering tragicomedy about the salvation of one man’s life in the face of true danger and despair in her newest novel, Godsmack Part I: The Mother Earth.
Yahn Marynugh is an accountant who is veering off into street life as current experiences are unsatisfying and almost unreal. One primary concern is a client who seems to have gotten caught up in fraudulent dealings – hard drugs are part of the scenario. Is the man the victim or the instigator? One thing is certain: no one wants Yahn asking questions. As he finds himself mired more into barroom culture and constantly concerned about who may be following him and why, Yahn is on a downhill slide. But he has allies – a friend George, for whom Yahn has always had a secret, sensual yen, and Daphne, his adorable, adoring, seemingly psychic Scottish Terrier. George is assuming the role of caregiver for his increasingly world-weary pal, forcing him to drink vitamin infused water instead of alcohol and nursing him as murders are happening and Yahn may be next on the list for slaughter. But one morning Yahn is “snapped out of his trance” by an ad for an organic farm for sale. Somehow it seems to offer a chance for revival and survival, and definitely to escape from the perils of the big city. The characters Yahn will encounter on the rural pathway, the lore of land and natural living that he will be taught, will cause an etheric turnaround. Will Yahn find his true destiny in Deer County?
Peterson has written other works that treat, as this one does, mythological figures and spiritual leadings (Tristan and Isolde, Fairy Dust). Her experience as an actress has infused her vibrant gift of yarn spinning, as much of this intriguing saga is "told" in dialog as it would be on the boards. Her book offers a marvelous melding of life’s underbelly with moments of heavenly bliss. She deftly incorporates issues of gender blending that refuse to recognize conventional boundaries. From the beginning, when Yahn meets a black street kid named Dionysus, readers will suspect that there is a powerful backstory waiting to reveal itself and which will gradually come to light as Yahn learns to embrace the wonders of the natural world and the astral consciousness that dwells within it.
Quill says: Godsmack Part I: The Mother Earth shows Peterson’s powerful skills as a wordsmith and dreamer, with an amazing array of characters and constant scene shifting that will enchant readers and have them wishing for Part II.