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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, in Emily B. Scialom’s debut novel, The Religion of Self-Enlightenment, Carrick Ares is involved in an almost fatal car accident and experiences what he believes to be the afterlife.

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The Religion Of Self-Enlightenment

The Religion of Self-Enlightenment (or The ROSE as it is often now called) by Emily B. Scialom is a book that once read is never forgotten. In less than 200 pages, protagonist Carrick Ares explores his newfound self-enlightenment, mesmerising readers with its portrayal of a questing mind.

Growing up without any particular beliefs in anything, Carrick Ares is boring, and proudly so. Yet when he suddenly dies in a car accident, he experiences what he feels to be the afterlife, causing him to go through a huge existential crisis.

The only person with whom Carricks speaks about it is a psychiatrist, Paul Turnstone, and together they explore the theories Carrick has about life. Carrick goes mad and thinks that he finds the truth of existence.

Struggling to dress himself hinders not his adamance that he knows the answers to the biggest questions of life. He produces a book, The Religion Of Self-Enlightenment, which becomes the expression of his theories. It discusses exactly how to heal the crises which are now plaguing individuals and the wider world.

Delving into the history of human beliefs, looking for answers, and finding them, The ROSE by Emily B. Scialom is one of those rare books with contents which cannot be shaken off. Readers say if you buy one book in your life make it this one; this novel contains a fascinating, thought-provoking and enlightening narrative that leaves readers excitedly questioning their core beliefs.

Emily Scialom

I like to think of The ROSE, despite being extremely philosophical, as a general fiction novel with a spiritual twist. I have merged the intensely soulful aspects of my childhood hometown, Glastonbury, with the highly cerebral academic and literary excellence of Cambridge, which has predominantly been my location since 1996.

With Carrick’s conversations with his psychiatrist focusing on many of the central themes of life – including identity, the purpose of individual existence and the idea of progress – he sadly goes insane trying to understand these vast existential questions. And it is in his insanity that he creates a new religion – The Religion of Self-Enlightenment. This is a discussion on and a reinterpretation of human religion to-date.

I was born in Hackney, London on July 27th, 1984. Whilst growing up in Glastonbury between the years 1986 and 1996 I became a nationally published poet at the age of eight. After relocating to Cambridge aged twelve I subsequently became an internationally published poet in 2000.

I attended the University of Liverpool and graduated with a 2:1 BA in Communications, Media and Popular Music in 2007. I began The ROSE in the spring of 2008.

A labour of love emerged and was finally published in 2016. I have subsequently written six other books ranging from poetry collections to romance novels and historical fiction. My books have featured in The Los Angeles Times Festival Of Books and The London Book Fair. I have also made several appearances on BBC Radio. Furthermore, I am a prolific singer-songwriter with an album (Glastonbury’s Child) and an EP (Audible Treasure) available on streaming sites including Spotify.

-Emily B. Scialom

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