In Imago, Connie Myslik-McFadden, a Jungian psychotherapist and author of three non-fiction books, has written an evocative, immensely satisfying first novel. The themes of separation and loss, reunion and reconciliation, and the right to choose when and how we die, are woven into a beautiful, multilayered fabric that is unforgettable and whole. Serious in tone, with flashes of humor and irony, Imago is a powerful story about mother-daughter relationship and the human longing to heal the past and transform the present.
Maria Morrisons mother, with whom Maria has had little contact since childhood, has just told Maria that she is intending to commit suicide rather than die a painful, prolonged death from lung cancer. Maria, shocked and frightened, flies to be with her mother, hoping to intervene. She meets her eccentric half-sister, Gwen, for the first time, and they struggle to deal with their mothers illness and dramatic decision.
Synchronistically, Maria has with her the manuscript for a novel she has written in a creative attempt to understand the traumatic separation from her mother when she was a child and its impact on her life. It includes an imagined version of her mothers life, of which Maria has little real knowledge. Rich with dreams, this heartwarming contemporary novel powerfully illustrates how we use imagination to fill in the spaces where we do not know the truth of our experience.