Autobiographical books can be tricky as they tell a specific kind of story, sometimes one that avoids the author's culpability. More so when they get into areas of Personal Gnosis, a well deeply tainted by the self-centered pseudo-scholarship of the New Age movement. But when we get a book as rich in experience as A Fairy Path, we can all rejoice.

Simina grew up in Romania under the Communist regime -- an environment which virtually eliminated all connection to the spiritual. The State was the only priority and all other connections were severed, or diminished (including that of family and self). This dismantling of the formerly rich weaving of tradition and connection to the land leaves modern readers with a void of resources. That void is much smaller now.

Written in such a way that you feel almost as if reading a novel, the author's story is not pretty and is not for children, even though told by a child. My heart went out to her as she struggles to find a way to honor the knowledge coming to her from her psychic gifts within a society that actively punishes anyone not conforming with its materialistic worldview. We read, almost on tenterhooks, as Simina learns to acknowledge and enhance her power.

A Fairy Path is many things: biography, coming-of-age story, women's empowerment, folklore reference, and -- yes -- magic. It does all of these things well, and I highly recommend it.

~review by Lisa McSherry
Moon Books, 2024
pp. 200, $17.95