January 22, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Angels & Aliens: A Journey West

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Mary Morris
publisher
Picador USA
genre
Nonfiction, Memoir
We gave it a B+

Aura healers, ”young and chatty” UFO abductees, women who fly as angels through the Crystal Cathedral — such were travel writer Mary Morris’ new friends when, in 1988, she left Manhattan for Orange County, Calif., to start afresh as the 40ish single mother of a newborn daughter. In the quirky, calmly confessional memoir-cum-travelogue Angels &amp Aliens: A Journey West, Morris recalls how she distracted herself from the painful breakup with her baby’s commitment-phobic father by posing as a believer in a dizzying array of SoCal-style alternative faiths. Throughout her New Age forays, Morris forgoes satire for wry suspension of disbelief, discovering common ground between her own flight to California and her subjects’ eccentric, earnest quests for a more meaningful life. B+

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