Dr. Mary Ross, who holds a master’s degree in earth science and a doctorate in education, left her native New York and moved to England in 2001; a chance encounter with the work of British medium Loraine Rees so impressed her with its astounding accuracy that she undertook to chronicle the public and private readings given by this personable and down-to-earth spirit communicator over a period of four years. The resulting book, Love and Laughter with Spirit: Meet the Medium Loraine Rees, is based on the author’s notes and recordings and gives a good feel for the rapid-paced and highly accurate (estimated to be in the range of eighty percent) messages that Rees transmits through her spirit guides.
Dr. Ross presents Rees, who became aware of her ability to communicate with the spirits of the dead in childhood, as a normal, every-day sort of woman who admits to having made a good number of errors of judgment in her own personal life. Both a clairaudient and clairsentient, Rees did not even begin to use her gifts professionally until the end of her marriage to a violent man left her a single mother and the sole support of five children. A newspaper ad for a psychic fair led to her doing readings for an ever-growing stream of clients who, impressed with her accuracy, referred their friends and family members. Now, in a “typical week,” it is not unusual for Rees to do up to 200 readings; she has also been called upon by law enforcement for help in difficult cases.
The author does a laudable job of keeping her own commentary to a minimum while allowing the respected medium’s proficiency to shine. Her writing style transmits the easy going and often irreverent character of the readings, as ordinary people make contact with deceased loved ones who prove to be just as ordinary beyond the grave as they were when alive. There is much reassurance, comfort, and humor in Ross’ book as spirits eager to confirm their continued presence in a loved one’s life expose family secrets in public readings.
Although photographs can do much to enliven a text, certain readers may find that the inclusion of so many individual images of the various attendees at Rees’ readings does little to enhance the book; a few shots of the medium at work and with her family members would be sufficient. Readers may also wish to see a better photograph on the book’s cover, as the one selected contains distracting and unattractive elements (part of an unidentified man’s arm and Rees’ hand).
Dr. Ross’ book conveys the good news that each human being is much more than can be seen with the eyes. “Matter and energy do not cease to exist, they are merely transformed,” she writes. “In a similar vein, most of the world’s religions tell us that the soul does not end upon death. For me, Loraine confirms these things, and validates them in a style that is all her own.”