In Search of the Crucible Goddess by Jerri A. Blair

four stars

Presidential candidate, Val Goodman, is an idealist looking for ways to restore peace and hope to the American people. In Search of the Crucible Goddess details Val’s strange journey to find the answers he is after. Val’s quest starts out in an unlikely venue–a bar in the middle of the desert–where it’s said a wise goddess resides. It’s at this remote bar that Val is greeted by Beatrice (Bebe) Edith, an old barmaid and gatekeeper to the Crucible Goddess who Val so eagerly wants to meet. In order to uncover Val’s true inventions, Bebe asks him many questions and the two discuss everything from the Summer of Love and human rights to living in communes and the future of politics. While at the bar, Val also converses with interesting patrons and these brief discussions prove very insightful. There’s no shortage of magic throughout In Search of the Crucible Goddess–talking animals are Val’s guides to different dimensions where he makes his greatest discoveries of all.

In Search of the Crucible Goddess by Jerri A. Blair is a timely work of fiction that shines light on the current tumultuous political landscape in the United States. Blair’s approach to political discussion is a welcome departure from the typical writing on this topic that one is accustomed to. The whimsical, magical elements of the work bring a sense of playfulness and, most importantly, hope to serious discussions of diversity, tolerance, and ways to foster greater peace in our communities. In Search of the Crucible Goddess is rich with dialogue and the detailed, in-depth conversations that Blair crafts between Val and the other characters makes the reader feel like they are sitting there in bar sipping a stiff drink. However, it should be noted, those who don’t appreciate fantasy will find it hard to enjoy In Search of the Crucible Goddess’s strong magical bent.