Where to read: In a forest around a campfire (more realistically, on a bus on your way to your thoroughly respectable job in your thoroughly urbanised city)
Read with: Chilli hot chocolate and a crap-tonne of poutine – go for self-indulgent sensory overload (the antithesis of this crap, really)
In brief: Fair warning, it’s Jungian as eff.
This is the classic example of a book that either needs to be read slowly and gently over a long period of time or should have had 300 pages cut out by the editor. Estés starts small with simple stories and then builds into longer stories with slightly more complex allegorical or symbolic meaning. That means that there is a lot of repetition in the thematic development but if you want to take your time with it and let it sink in, that’ll be fine. Otherwise, you may be slightly infuriated.
Estés asks her selected stories to do a lot of heavy lifting and they sometimes sag under the sheer allegorical weight. That said, there are some really lovely ideas woven throughout the text.