The Mythmaker is a personal myth, a fiction, based on author and depth psychologist Dr. Mary Harrell’s life. After the sudden death of her mother, seven young children and an overwhelmed father were left to figure out what to do. Acknowledging that seminal happenings enwombed in our past seek re-membering, and in the tradition of personal mythtelling, Dr. Harrell, began a writer’s journey, to re-collect the meaning of her story. She proceeded in a series of spiralic returns gathering meaningful shards of symbolic experience.
Dr. Harrell, as we all do, found herself asking, “Who or what is here right now, to inform this long ago, and also, present moment?” Such self-reflective activity took her back to memories, not as they were, but as she perceived them to be. With each return, she found a different fiction, an echo, a fabrication, and also the better truth that brought her closer to coherence, that soulful state best described as wholeness. Through this process the past emerged and the full story found its way to the pages of this book. Beyond the death of Dr. Harrell’s mother, an additional reality within The Mythmaker story is irrefutable. An angel, an imaginal figure, began entering the author’s life when she was fifteen years old. The angel’s aim was to be an ally, thereby transforming grief into a story of healing. Her presence reminds us that preposterous aspects of our own myth may inform the deeper truth of our experience.
“Riveting. This reads like a classic. I savored each word, knowing this book is precious and I can only be read for the first time once.” -Dr. Randi Taylor, Clinical Psychologist
“Katie’s non-linear story, told with language the beauty of which took my breath away, holds deep truths; The Mythmaker will speak to the minds, bodies and spirits of both teen and adult readers. Katie is my kind of hero—vulnerable, sad, bewildered; she doesn’t recognize the strength, wisdom, and integrity she possesses and manifests. Though she is perceived as the girl who lost her mother, and she struggles with this new identity, she actually takes steps that show us that her mother is not lost to her: she talks to her mother as she experiences new events and relationships, and she follows where her angel leads. She has much to contend with on her quest, but she is not alone.” – Sharon Kane, Ph.D., Author of Integrating Literature in the Content Areas: Enhancing Adolescent Learning and Literacy and Literacy and Learning in the Content Areas
“This book is for all of us. Readers who have lost a parent in their childhood years will relate to Katie’s feelings and yearnings. Some will have their own stories like Katie’s and realize that they were never alone, and the rest of us will wish we did.” – Jean Ann Ph.D., Author and Linguist at State University of New York at Oswego
“Bravo. The Mythmaker is soft and comforting, sorrowful and angry. Like life itself, it’s real. I loved the ending, which is both surprising and enormously satisfying. Mary Harrell didn’t build a Hollywood ending but shows us how ‘one’s story’ changes as we look back at it – from a future, more mature perspective.” – Diane Croft, Author of the Nautilus Silver Award Winner 2017, The Unseen Partner
“The Mythmaker by Mary Harrell gently and thoughtfully brings the reader, any reader of any age, to understand and experience that, in our own lives, we can move from a place of sorrow and suffering to a place of love and acceptance – one might even say enlightenment – when we are willing to listen, watch and be open to the power of story and symbol.” – Christine Walsh, Ed.D, Co-Director, Oswego Writing Institute; State University of New York, Oswego