Buried somewhere between these pages there dwells a better book. All of the material necessary to create a fascinating assembly of thought and opinion on psychic research is here, and throughout the chapters glow excellent points on psychic ability and phenomenon. Mostly, however, she instead offers a loose travelogue smattered with speculations, too little research, and too many unnecessary details.
Adair’s book presents interviews with women psychics all over the world. The subject matter draws immediate interest to Pagans and psychic researchers, but Adair fails to explore the full possibilities available to her, and reading the first few chapters reveal that her interview skills need polish as do her research methods. While Adair does not provide an overview of her interview procedures, the repetitious information in each interview suggests that she asks the exact same questions of every psychic, and repeats the same information even though she hints that some interviews gave her access to fresher, probably more interesting material. This book includes no bibliography or footnotes although she frequently speculates on the relevance of psychism to the scientific and medical communities and names several medical conditions in her speculations.
Adair also shares minute details of her adventures such as missed contacts and personal acquaintances that ultimately bear no relevance to her interviews. This author-behavior in some places suggests Adair wants the reader to pay more attention to her writing and this makes her interest in psychic research seem insincere.
This leads to the final problem of New Daughters of the Oracle: Adair fails to establish credibility. Nowhere does she establish any attempts to educate herself on the subject before pursuing the interviews besides an allusion to a “long standing interest.” There are serious problems with this book in its current presentation. A reader can still find relevant information of value about psychic phenomena, but must wade through a too-personal writing style to find the gems kicked to the side from the verbal and speculative wandering.
~review by: Diana Rajchel
by Virginia Adair
New Paradigm Books, 2001
pp. 240, $16.95