Wagner, Wynn. “Brent: The Heart Reader”, Mystic Ways Books, 2012.
An Old Life Stops, a New Life Begins
I always enjoy reading Wynn Wagner and not just because he is an excellent writer. Mainly I like that he does not hold back on how he feels about how organized religion affects our lives and he does so from a point of authority. For him, “marriage apartheid at the expense of personal rights” is disgusting and not only unfair but ungodly. He and his partner were married in the Old Catholic Church for just that reason. Wagner has a degree in theology (a doctorate, no less) so when he speaks, he knows what he is speaking about and his thoughts about religion permeate his books.
Here, the main character, Brent, is a tarot reader and he is an adopted child (like Wagner himself was). His adopted family doesn’t like tarot readers “or gays (as Wagner is) or Swedes” (as Wagner was born) and in fact they do not like much of anything Brent has to say. Once at a reading for a young Sioux, Brent receives a revelation that causes him to realize that his life is mundane and sad and there is a better life out there filled “with wonder and adventure”. Brent learns how to understand his own heart and in doing so becomes self-aware and self-accepting and falls in love with another man. Here is the message—to know ourselves, to accept ourselves and to love ourselves are the first steps to being able to love someone else.
I am constantly amazed at not only what Wagner writes but the fact that he knows so much about so many different things, Furthermore; he is willing to share what he knows with us. The story is sexy but it is also a tender love story that not only deserves your attention but merits it.