The Metaphor Maker Reviews

The Metaphor Maker is an intriguing adventure of the spirit. I picked it on Friday afternoon and couldn’t put it down until Saturday afternoon. I was transported back to the sixties, to a time of hope and adventure – I smelled the sea air of Southern California beaches, walked the streets of Laguna Beach, felt the excitement of the Berkeley anti-war movement, heard Beach Boys melodies, and experienced the idealism of the 1968 presidential election.The Metaphor Maker is a spiritual adventure. It is “spiritual but not religious,” easily accessible to seekers of all faiths or no faith at all. It’s an adventure of self-discovery, of finding your identity in the quest for the soul. The journey is spiritual at heart, inviting us to let go of outworn images of the Holy, so that healthy and creative images of the Holy may emerge.This is a perfect “book club” book and I’ve just finished reading it with my family and best friend. Even my 92 year old mother-in-law found it enlightening and engaging. It provoked many interesting conversations in our household. This book joins theology, relationships, self-discovery, and a descriptive walk through Southern California. — Dr. Bruce Epperly, author of Holy Adventure: 41 Days of Audacious Living
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The novel The Metaphor Maker by Patricia Adams Farmer grabs the reader from the beginning and doesn’t let go. A young unmarried female college graduate struggles in California in a quest for meaning and love during the turbulent late 1960’s. Big and often tragic issues of national politics, war, family dynamics, and alternatives in spiritual life swirl around her as she searches. Wonderful use of descriptive detail, a healthy dose of well-chosen and usually creative figures of speech, and accurate historical facts greatly enrich the narrative, as do a flowing writing style and realistic dialogue. Flirtation with a few ideas from process theology, such as how to deal with the concept of the omnipotence of God and what it means to have a “fat soul,” makes the reader want to hear more about that school of thought. It’s hard to imagine anyone regretting having read this story of a beauthiful young woman with a head full of unmanageable red hair.
–Lee Crawford
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Patricia Adams Farmer delicately engages the reader in the deepest questions of society, family and the individual life. Interweaving the characters of her novel in all three of these arenas, she invites the reader not only into the characters’ lives, but also into reflection of one’s own life and times. While one could get absorbed into the story for the enjoyment of a well told story – which it is – the authentic inquiries of the characters invite one into important questions and richer meanings of doubt and faith.

One of her characters quotes Rollo May with the observation – “You see, Rollo May says that the normal adult escapes anxiety through the comfort of conformity, but the authentic, creative adult approaches the anxiety of life with courage. That is how I see your Greeter. Authentic. Creative. Courageous, even” (p. 132).

That is how I see Patricia Adams Farmer and her writing in The Metaphor Maker – Authentic. Creative. Courageous, even. I am grateful to her for this work of authenticity, creativity, and courage.–Rev. Kim Gage Ryan

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Praise and puffery can be produced with ease by a reviewer. Admiration for the elegant literary style and most certainly praise for tackling a pivotal time in America are owed to Patricia Adams Farmer. But something else happened to me while reading THE METAPHOR MAKER–a re-awakening of emotions I thought were deeply buried. Let me explain.

Madeline Prescott struggled during the ’60s, a time while I was a physician in the Central Intelligence Agency stationed in Athens, Greece. The horrors faced by Madeline–the assassinations, an immoral war in Viet Nam and the warping of democracy in our country–were doubly magnified for me simply because I did not have the support that Madeline had during this upheaval–no discussion groups or politically sympathetic friends.

THE METAPHOR MAKER re-awakened in me the deep despair of those times. Had Patricia Adams Farmer’s book been with me then, the climb out of the abyss would have been easier. Madeline’s strength and persistence in seeking answers to what seemed unanswerable problems is more than an inspiration to those of us who can’t seem to relax and let the world go by. Her book is the perfect metaphor: a prism which gives us a spectrum of hope.

Patrick Clement, MD
Physician in the Central Intelligence Agency, 1965-1970
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This book satisfied my craving for both leisure and inspirational reading; I laughed, cried, cringed and contemplated about the meaning of life. But most importantly, this book painted a vivid picture of hope and it’s intimate relationship with humanity. With the plot set in the 1960’s, Patricia Adams Farmer artistically brought history to life and allowed me to deeply empathize with and befriend the characters. I absolutely adored them and I am delighted that she gave each role enough “book time exposure” to bond with the readers. One thing I am quite fond of was how the positive traits were evenly distributed among the major characters. In other words, there was no “superhuman” that possessed all the wisdom you needed. All the characters seemed to have experienced perennial ups and downs in life throughout the book, a journey that a reader might deem relatable.

This book contains numerous lessons that I found personally enriching. There is nothing too preachy, just practical guidance and metaphors that have the capacity to uplift the spirit and provoke positive change. I cannot recall how many times I had to pause from reading and simply digest the beautiful words. This story showed me how freely we could learn from each other as well as how much wisdom we can impart. My favorite part in this novel was when the characters sporadically gathered in the bookshop. There is a clear sense of belongingness that permeates their environment. Even though the characters came from different backgrounds, they respected each other and welcomed the possibility of gaining new insights about life from a different perspective. In this book, Patricia Adams Farmer described that our spiritual, religious or philosophical views does not necessarily have to match other people’s point by point in order to have a peaceful and vibrant fellowship. The only criteria needed were passion for social justice and hope in the goodness of humanity. This is a concept that I truly wish the larger society would come to embody.

I read other reviews about The Metaphor Maker and I agree that the story caters to a wide range of audience. From Madeleine’s fresh-off-from-college character to the ever-jovial Mr. Larsen, one can either identify closely with a specific character or pick bits and pieces from everyone’s colorful life. This novel is reader-friendly and is ideal for someone who is interested in learning more about progressive theology. It is a perfect book for an explorer like me.–CL

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What’s a MetaPHOR?  Delightful story & characters, even better the author’s accessible intro to Alfred North Whitehead’s Process Thought. –JS
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My memories of the 1960s are vague, having been only a child during the decade. However, Patricia Adams Farmer brings the key events of that pivotal time to life with extraordinary style. Her skillful use of language elucidates scenes and evokes emotion the way a master artist paints a picture – layer upon layer – until I was there, at Van Gelder’s sipping tea, on the beach at Laguna taking in the salty air, in Watts swept up with the crowd rushing to see RFK, even to Viet Nam, witnessing an unthinkable atrocity.

From the first chapter, the main character drew me in. Madeline Prescott was like a new friend I wanted to know more and more about. I was touched by her tenderness, and impressed with her tenacity. She isn’t flawless. On the contrary, she’s fully human, making her even more compelling. I felt privileged to be a part of Madeline’s spiritual journey. As her search evolved, I was challenged to consider my own spiritual perspectives.This is the perfect book for a study group or book club! Its multiple facets provide many opportunities for open conversation as well as self-reflection and revelation.  — Cindy MeyerClick Here to read more Amazon Reviews!

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