War­rior Won: A Novel

January 1, 2013

Every­thing is going great in Lor­na Crawford’s life. She’s mar­ried to a fan­tas­tic hus­band, has a posse of girl­friends, recent­ly land­ed a new job, and best of all, is mom to a two-year-old, with anoth­er child on the way. The spir­i­tu­al prac­tices she has made a cen­ter­piece in her life — mind­ful­ness, med­i­ta­tion, yoga — are becom­ing sec­ond nature. But four months into her preg­nan­cy, Lor­na learns there may be some­thing wrong with her unborn baby, a prospect that throws her life and her inner peace into turmoil. 

Over the months, as her mid­wife orders one test after anoth­er, Lor­na is chal­lenged to main­tain her calm and hope­ful cen­ter. She is helped by numer­ous spir­i­tu­al activ­i­ties, includ­ing breath­work, yoga, appre­ci­a­tion exer­cis­es, crys­tal-bowl relax­ation, spir­i­tu­al read­ing (includ­ing from a rab­bi), and more. Will all this be enough to help Lor­na through the months of not-know­ing — and pos­si­bly a hor­rif­ic diag­no­sis? Fore­word Reviews calls War­rior Won spir­i­tu­al fic­tion that is both com­pelling and fun.”

Discussion Questions

Cour­tesy of Meryl Davids Landau

  1. At the start of the nov­el, Lor­na has dif­fi­cul­ty main­tain­ing her prac­tices of yoga and med­i­ta­tion the way she did before her child was born. Does her strug­gle strike you as gen­uine? Have you had a sim­i­lar expe­ri­ence of life get­ting in the way of your dai­ly prac­tice? How did/​do you deal with it?

  2. Lor­na loves her boss and her job, and is obvi­ous­ly good at her work, yet her mind occa­sion­al­ly flips to wor­ry­ing about whether her boss is unhap­py with her. Why does she do this? Why do we all do this some­times? How can we stop our minds from cat­a­stro­phiz­ing for no reason?

  3. From the moment Lor­na faints, she becomes con­cerned that some­thing is wrong with Deux­ie, even though for many months there is no med­ical­ly proven prob­lem. Did you feel that Lor­na was wor­ry­ing about noth­ing at the time, or was she right to trust her instincts? Have you ever sensed a prob­lem before it hap­pened? What do you attribute that to?

  4. Don is a key source of sup­port for Lor­na for much of the nov­el. How did you feel when Lor­na hears the news about Deuxie’s diag­no­sis and runs out of town with­out him? Do you like how Don han­dles her return? What about how he man­ages his own reac­tions to their reality?

  5. Lor­na has a group of tight, spir­i­tu­al­ly aware girl­friends who aim to lift one anoth­er up. Do you find your­self drawn to some of the women more than oth­ers (and if so, which), or to all for dif­fer­ent rea­sons? In your own life, do you have a friend, or group of friends, who fills this impor­tant role?

  6. Con­tin­u­ing a theme from Down­ward Dog, Upward Fog, Lor­na has a fraught rela­tion­ship with her less-than-per­fect moth­er. How does Lor­na even­tu­al­ly come to terms with her? Do you have a dif­fi­cult rel­a­tive you might try to view in a dif­fer­ent light?

  7. What do you think about the Bless­ing­way, and that it pam­pers and hon­ors the moth­er rather than the baby? Could you see your­self throw­ing one for some­one in your life?

  8. Lor­na has a mixed view of the con­ven­tion­al med­ical com­mu­ni­ty. She respects doc­tors and their proven treat­ments, but at times den­i­grates them. How do you feel about her reac­tions? How do you rec­on­cile any ten­sion you might have between West­ern and East­ern medicine?

  9. Lor­na (and author Meryl Davids Lan­dau) is an avid read­er of spir­i­tu­al non­fic­tion books. Have you read many of the books Lor­na does? Which are your favorites? Which had you not known of that you’re now inspired to discover?

  10. War­rior Won includes many spir­i­tu­al prac­tices that Lor­na uses to main­tain her cen­ter. Which ones includ­ed in the book have you per­son­al­ly tried? Are there prac­tices that are new to you that you want to explore? (The prac­tices include sujal­ing,” as Lor­na terms it, which can be a sit­ting or walk­ing med­i­ta­tion; hatha yoga; var­i­ous types of breath­work; appre­ci­at­ing peo­ple; con­scious­ly intend­ing what you want in the next seg­ment; focus­ing inside your body; engag­ing all of your sens­es; bring­ing a smile” to your body; eat­ing mind­ful­ly; singing about your wor­ries; rapid­ly repeat­ing your wor­ries; chal­leng­ing your wor­ries; attend­ing med­i­ta­tive musi­cal events; and read­ing spir­i­tu­al books.)