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McCarthy, a political refugee from Latvia, offers yet another method to rid oneself of old ways of thinking and begin anew. She describes it as transcendence-the state of lifting oneself out of the morass of past hurts and current pain to see the world with fresh eyes. But rather than explain how this state can be achieved, McCarthy relates stories of people in impossible situations who have stopped trying to change others and the situations they encounter and instead transform themselves. While this first book in a projected trilogy contains heartwarming stories, it fails to explain how to apply its lessons. Optional.