Louisa Oakley Green is a talented writer. This much I’ll tell you up front. If you’ve read any of my older work, you’re likely well aware that I have little time for those who would call themselves psychic. This isn’t because I don’t believe it to be possible; I do. I just have little faith in the verity of those people who would advertise these abilities for personal gain (which is an unfortunate thing for those with genuine gifts, but as they say, it is what it is).
Loitering at the Gate to Eternity: Memoirs of a Psychic Bystanderoffers no such conflict though. This book is essentially a collection of anecdotal recollections of Green’s husband and his family. In broad strokes, it tells the story of how her husband, Stephen, and his family seem to have a propensity for psychic and mediumistic talents. Looking more closely though, one finds this book to be an examination of nearly every form of PSI or ESP that is known, all from the perspective of, not one who has experienced the gifts, but of one who has witnessed the phenomenon from the sidelines. This perspective is familiar to me in my personal life, and perhaps this contributed to my appraisal of Green’s work.
The subtitle, Memoirs of a Psychic Bystander, is poignant, and becomes a theme throughout the book, but it’s hard not to get swept up in the romance of the stories. Green expertly illustrates the particulars of each memory as told to her by any number of family members and friends of the family who have either witnessed the phenomenon, like her, or whom possess what seems to be a hereditary propensity for sensitivity. Beyond that though, she skillfully captures the essence of their experiences and lets the reader live it right alongside her.
Green has admitted to me privately, that she was unsure how I would receive this book, because I have a reputation for approaching such subjects from a pointedly skeptical position. I do admit that some of what is relayed in Loitering at the Gate to Eternity rubbed me the wrong way, but this is not because Green is wrong, or because I deny that the events are true. It’s entirely because I require evidence that is not and could never be available. There are times, it seems, that Green is resigned to the fact that those of us without such gifts will never know the truth of it, but it’s also easy to see that her mind is open and that she has a great love of her husband and her extended family, and of their history.
This book would likely be a turn off for the staunch skeptic, but for those with an open mind, and/or those who enjoy folksy biopic literature, Loitering at the Gate to Eternity is a good choice.
Loitering at the Gate to Eternity: Memoirs of a Psychic Bystander, by Louisa Oakley Green is available for purchase through Amazon in both paperback and electronic format..
Louisa Oakley Green is a guest author on Paranormal People, her ongoing archive can be found here.