The Unlikely Occulist by Isobel Blackthorn

Title: The Unlikely Occultist: A Biographical novel of Alice A. Bailey

Author: Isobel Blackthorn

Published on: 4 December 2018

Genre: Non-Fiction

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Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Unlikely Occultist is a biographical novel of Alice A. Bailey. If you have never heard of Alice before, then you are not alone. If you see the reviews of this book on Goodreads, you will see that most of the reviewers start the review by saying something like “I had never heard of Alice until I read this book.”

I too hadn’t heard of her until I came across this book. I must say that Isobel has done a great deal of research for this book and her efforts are praiseworthy. Though this is a biographical fiction, it felt like I was reading a story – the life story of Alice A Bailey – so hats off to Isobel for that!

The story alternates between the past and the present. Heather Brown discovers the fascinating life of Alice Bailey. As she reads through the journals, she’s curious to know more about the woman who was a long-forgotten occultist.


Alice Bailey’s had a tough life. Her childhood was turbulent- her sister was always the good one. Her marriage didn’t end well either. People had warned her but she took no heed to their advice. After being beaten up and thrown down the stairs, Alice finally took a decision – the decision that led to Alice’s sister disowning her!

As the story proceeds, Alice’s contribution to the theosophical society is explained in detail. Her life was nothing short of a ship in a storm. It was heart-wrenching to read the hardships she went through – with Olga and others trying to put her down, Foster’s sunbathing incidents and her three daughters becoming the center of unwanted gossip.

The Unlikely Occultist was an interesting and informational read. If you like to experiment with genres then give this book a try. But I feel the need to specify this – the book is more inclined towards historical facts so do not consider this to be a light read.

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