This review was written by Nellie Kampmann of the Haunted Voices Radio Network.
I wanted to die.
The decision was an easy one when faced with another year of pain, sickness, pills and doctors who appeared as clueless as I was about the cause of my illness.
That night in the spring of 2003, I lay in the quiet of my bedroom just outside of St. Louis feeling the pain and nausea radiate through my body. My doctors had decided that previous winter that it was an unspecified chronic kidney infection, yet having a name for the condition did little to inspire a cure for it. I became a student of suffering and I learned by experience that constant pain exhausts the body and soul quicker than anything else. I had been denied the comfort of sleep for months, save a few hours each night when I was not vomiting what little food I had managed to eat during the day. My life had gone on like this for five months by that night, an endless procession of late-night emergency room visits, catheters, intravenous lines, clueless doctors, pills and general misery with no resolution.
This is no way to live.
I remember that thought hitting me with such blinding clarity that I was dumbstruck by it for a long suspended moment.
This is no way to live.
Thus starts Unveiled: Fanny Chamberlain Reincarnated by Jessica Jewett. Jewett’s story is dramatic enough without the past life aspects. Born a quadriplegic, she suffered from abandonment by her father at an early age, poverty, serious health issues, and physical abuse, which she tells about with full dramatic impact. It gets even better once she interweaves the tale about her memories of a past life as the wife of Civil War general and governor of Maine, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, and how that affected her current one.
I first met Jewett after hearing her talk about her past life on a radio interview a couple of years ago. As a past life reader myself, I am normally skeptical of people who claim to have had famous past lives. I have run across some that I believe to be genuine, but more often than not, memories of famous past lives seem to be born of an ego-driven need to be important. In Jewett’s case, the degree of fame was less of an issue. When people fantasize about famous past lives, they fantasize about high profile ones, not semi-obscure ones that only historians have ever heard of. That added credibility to her story. It also put her in a unique position where there was a fair amount of historical documentation on her past life that she is not likely to have come across accidentally and subconsciously absorbed. Again, that gives more credence to any memories she has that do match up with the historical documentation.
The first part of the book talks about Jewett’s struggles with understanding what her past life memories were to begin with. She had had memories of her life as Fanny starting at the age of 3. She believed that the memories she had were ghosts haunting her, since she had mediumistic abilities as well and was no stranger to ghosts. Growing up in a religiously conservative community added to the stress. She spent many years subjugating her memories and psychic abilities in an attempt to fit in in a world where any paranormal phenomena was considered to be the work of the devil. This sense of secrecy is echoed throughout the book by the way she refers to the people in her life, frequently identifying them only by the role they play in her current life and not by name. Considering that the book touches on their own past life memories that many of them are not ready to come out of the reincarnation closet about, that protects their privacy while subtly emphasizing the clandestine world that many reincarnationists live in.
The book gets more philosophical as Jewett moves into the period of her life when she comes to grips with what her memories mean. She discusses the nature of reincarnation but also gets into more esoteric issues, like what her own role in life was meant to be. It should be noted that this book was not meant to be a guide on how to recover your own past life memories. For that, I would recommend the excellent Past Lives, Present Miracles by Denise Linn. However, Unveiled does give the reader unique insight into the reincarnation process. I was struck by the number of resonances in Jewett’s and Fanny’s past lives, and by the similar life events that happened to them at the same age. For example, Fanny was adopted out by her poverty stricken parents at the age or 4. Jewett’s father abandoned her family when she was likewise 4 years old. In discussing such matters, Jewett explores why history may be repeating itself in her current life.
Some of the most compelling parts of her story come later on, when she makes a trip to the town in Maine where she and her husband lived. The way the historical documentation backs up her memories is fascinating and sometimes jaw dropping. One story is in regards to seeing a house in Brunswick, remembering that it had been known as the “Green House” and that it wasn’t in it’s original location. A few weeks later when she was researching the history of the house to make sense of her memories, she came across this photograph in the Maine Historical Society’s online Maine Memory collection, noting the house as having been owned by a family named Green and actually showing it in the process of being moved.
She had to omit that photograph due to copyright issues, but other photographs are nearly as intriguing. She includes some photographs of herself now and of Fanny, and those of members of her soul group. The comparison photographs of Jewett and Fanny, her grandfather in this life and adoptive father in Fanny’s life, and her brother in this life and brother-in-law in Fanny’s life are striking. Taken on their own, physical resemblances do not count for much in backing up claims of reincarnation. However, when combined with other aspects, they add more interest. True, one expects that if one resembles someone from the past, that family resemblance would extend to the historical person’s family as well. However, it’s far less likely that one’s blood relatives would bear a strong resemblance to people close to you in a past life who were relatives by virtue of adoption and marriage. Combine that with the similar personalities and life issues they faced, the physical resemblances are all the more intriguing.
Whether you believe in reincarnation, merely entertain the possibility, or don’t believe in it all all, Unveiled is a good read, full of drama, intrigue, paranormal experiences, and food for thought. I highly recommend it.
Where to Buy
Unveiled: Fanny Chamberlain Reincarnated is on sale today through the retailers below, both in the US and internationally. Brick and mortar bookstores, NACSCORP, the Espresso Book Machine, and Ingram Book Company are also be able to order and stock Unveiled as well.
Excerpts from the Book
Listed below are two excerpts from Unveiled: Fanny Chamberlain Reincarnated.