Patricia (Paddy) Kennington – TSSFPh.D., LPC, NCC, Certified EMDR Therapist.

The life changes that we all face as we grow into our mature selves, often bring the pain of loss before the joy of understanding, and Alice’s journey in the story In the Snake-Dragon’s Claws, with her many friends and helpers, and her meeting with the Green Man of All-Knowing, are growth experiences that are both fearful and welcome. As parents know, the stages of a child’s development can be fraught with tensions and testing behaviours, but they are necessary to enable the child to grow into an adult. Human effort and angst, leading to adult maturity, are accompanied by vulnerability and inner reflection: who will help me and why is this happening to me!  Such developmental milestones are described in mythology, fiction, poetry, and endless, ‘if-only I had done so and so’, tales, and in Alice’s quest to find the seeds that will bring life back to the world. The author has captured human yearning in the real life struggles of Alice, as she comes to understand the confusion that has up-ended her world.  The loss of her mother, and her gradual acceptance of her father’s marriage to a new ‘mother’, leads to a healing process that brings about her progress and reflection.  These life changes, though sometimes unpleasant, are part of the family’s shared experience. As Alice and her friends grapple with the Snake-Dragon in the Cave of Mists, she also comes to embrace her new family who help her grow into the young adult she is becoming. Surrounded by a circle of both human and spiritual helpers, Alice reaches out to embrace divine intervention at ‘thin time’, and in doing so is able to take steps towards becoming what she is intended to be.