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Lisa Barstow Leads You Through Her Spiritual Journey, Paving The Way For A Journey Of Your Own

By Alohi Kani

There is much to say about a book that is frank, inspiring, humorous, and yet tinged with sadness. Lisa Barstow’s Don’t Go Back To Sleep is one such book. It is a book about a journey through life that takes one from the conservative upperclass society of Sutton Place in East Side Manhattan to the island of Kauai.

From the get go I found the book intriguing, almost as if it spoke volumes just by sitting quietly on the shelf (without saying a word, of course), which is understandable when you see the ancient Aborigine painting of a waterhole on its cover. The feeling it brings is similar to watching someone meditating, deep in a trance. You know there is much to learn from the book, as well as with the wise person in meditation, yet you feel intimidated by the exterior, wondering when it would be best to break that trance.

I broke the trance, opened the book, and just couldn’t seem to get the words and the events within it out of my head. I found myself continuously thinking about young Barstow, wondering what happens next. How did she, once a member of the upper class WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) community of New York, where untainted reputation and financial status reign supreme, manage to escape its confines and journey to the remote island of Kauai?

Barstow’s journey is fascinating because it reveals just how structured society can be, and it shows that the refined lifestyle of an upper class WASP family may not always be what it’s cracked up to be. Socio-economic class is always apparent to those in the throngs of the WASP community. There are so many who desire to be a part of this seemingly distant and elegant upper class societal clique in East Side Manhattan, yet, Barstow shares that there is something much more to life than “keeping up appearances.

For more information about Don’t Go Back To Sleep, and to find out where to buy the book or learn about other writings by Lisa Barstow please visit



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