In this riveting, true crime story with a mystical twist, author Myra Mossman shares what she previously kept hidden from law enforcement about the violent crime and her experience with death. To the police it appeared to be a random event. It just happened. She didn’t know the guy. He didn’t know her. Less than an hour after the attack, Myra received five divine directives: move to the other side of the continent; learn to meditate; become skilled at a martial art; study meaningful coincidence; and learn about metaphysics. The sixth divine directive came ten years later when she was called to become a lawyer. For the past forty years, she has spent her time mastering those directives. My Random Death takes readers on a journey across North America and into their souls. It is about courage, triumph over evil and how our perceptions of the everyday, ordinary world can deepen. Ultimately it’s about trusting oneself and how the gift of intuition becomes revealed.
(Excerpt: Chapter 6 PDF is protected under copyright)
Copyright (c)2019 Myra Mossman, All Rights Reserved.
Idea/Concept: Fueled by a quest for meaning, and only briefly interrupted by her own murder, Myra Mossman's life has been extraordinary, dramatic, and surprising. In addition to adventures in hitchhiking, spiritual searching, and arguing a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Mossman's story turns to a near-death experience on Martha's Vineyard in 1978, when a man strangled her and left her for dead. That (briefly) fatal incident awoke in the author five "divine directives" to follow in her life, setting her on a path to master Kabbalah, karate, Tarot, and more. Mossman achieved all this and more, moving between the U.S. and Canada, all while pondering the nature and fate of the "Evil Man" who once attacked her. This is a fascinating life and an excellent subject for a memoir.
Prose: Considering her creativity and accomplishments, it's no surprise that Mossman can craft an eloquent sentence. The prose in My Random Death offers many memorable, compelling descriptions of people and places, families and fashions, incidents and beliefs. Mossman's lines can be urgently dramatic and laugh-out-loud funny. That said, Mossman's dialogue often is stiff, even unnatural; at times, the narrative jumps from topic to topic without clear logic, usually between paragraphs. The last lines of sections and chapters often offer stray details rather than resonant summations or revelations, creating the sense that the story is petering out rather than building.
Originality: Few have lived a life (or experienced a death) like Mossman's, so few people have written books like this one, which bursts with unpredictable incident. The endless novelty of Mossman's journey becomes, eventually, a distraction from the book's most original element. With so much life to cram in, Mossman devotes scant pages to her glimpse of death, described here with a vision of complex geometry, or to what she has discovered in her journeys. Instead, it's the journeys themselves that are her focus.
Execution: Mossman's life is fascinating, and her sentences are strong, but My Random Death lacks a strong narrative thrust and organizational throughline. It's always moving on to the next thing rather than guiding readers to find meaning in what it's already covered. The memoir moves restlessly between topics, only occasionally cueing readers to the logic of these shifts with clear transitions or any sense of a larger thesis or structure. The narrative is mostly chronological, with a couple (somewhat confusing) flash-forwards, but even as it surges ahead in time it never gains momentum as a story. Mossman spent some early years wandering Canada and the U.S., and her memoir, too, tends to wander, telling readers what she did next rather than emphasizing how each adventure fits into a larger perspective. Questions readers are bound to have go unaddressed. Mossman's life has centered on a search for divinity, but her memoir does not frame her narrative in this way or, often, in any particular way. Mossman's book presents her life as a series of loosely related misadventures rather than as a fascinating woman's singular journey.
Date Submitted: November 04, 2019