The Seven Rays, by Jessica Bendinger

I am listening to the audiobook. It is so cool that I came out during lunch at work and sat in the car to listen to the next couple chapters. Elizabeth (or maybe Aleph Beth) is a high school girl, graduating early, taking classes at the local community college and just got early acceptance to Columbia.

But she “may be more than she thinks she is” according to the gold card she got through the mail. Then she finds a file in the attic full of tarot cards addressed to her that her mother hid from her for some reason: the Empress, the Hierophant, the Lovers, the Magician. What do they mean?

She is also having problems with her eyesight. Are they “floaters,” a detached retina, or is she seeing movies of people’s lives when she touches them. Why does she see ropes, tenacles, knots and vacuum hoses radiating from people? And different colored dots? Who are the mysterious people at 7RI in New York who sent the cards?

And, the third (ish) story line…there are two really hot brothers, Ryan whom Elizabeth’s best friend is crushing on. Richie is the college age brother in Elizabeth’s chemistry class. Suddenly he seems to have a romantic interest in her. They have an awesome kiss the physically burns them!

She ends up in a mental hospital for observation and meets a mysterious girl named Nessa who can listen to people as if they have a radio broadcasting their lives and thoughts.  Beth keeps developing her ability to “feel-see,” and we are introduced to six other girls. One steals expensive trinkets by hypnotizing the shop person. Hen was fostered by Carmelite nuns and pole dances for extra money to buy clothes for the kids at the orphanage. While she lap dances she convinces guilty men to repent.

What is going on? The end of the book definitely will not resolve everything for the reader. It may send them to the library looking up Tarot card, which the book aligns with Torah. I noticed the girls’ names could be tied to Hebrew letters: Aleph Bet, Dolly (Dalat), Gimme (Gimmel), Vava (Vav) and so on. My guess is that there are some legends tied to the ideas in this book.

This book will appeal more to young women than young men. I would suggest it for age 13 up, depending on the maturity of the reader/listener. There is no violence to speak of, but some very sexual images and talk about stripping for money, lap dances, having children by seven different men. This might be an interesting book for a book club for young women with a good moderator. It would bring up discussion of who one really is, what makes up identity, physical appearance, possessions, mind reading (if you could, would you?) and making assumptions about people. Also, is there Destiny, Fate, Free Will, reincarnation?

Bendinger, Jessica. The Seven Rays. Audio Book, performed by Angela Dawe, 2009, 7 compact discs, unabridged, Brilliance Audio in cooperation with Simon and Schuster.


About KLevenson

I am Teacher Librarian at Piedmont High School in the San Francisco East Bay. I am a part time reference Librarian I for the San Francisco Public Library. I have a Masters in Library and Information Sciences from San Jose State and a Teacher Librarian credential in addition to my teaching credential in Science. My first MA was from Harvard in Archaeology. My students teach me something new every time I am with them!
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