Book Review: The Appleseed Journal
By Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, ‘California Bookwatch’
While most may readily recognize the name of Johnny Appleseed, which is widely connected with the propagation and popularity of apples, this same audience is just as unlikely to realize that Appleseed was actually a traveling minister with deep spiritual roots - and that he used apple seeding as one device towards the greater purpose of seeding men's souls.
It's about time that a biography of Appleseed were written to capture this little-known facet of his life; but while The Appleseed Journal is a story of spirituality and enlightenment as much as a chronicle of one man's wanderings and calling, and is recommended for any who wondered about the persona and impact of the man in his 1800s world, it would not have come to exist without a chance discovery by the author.
This spiritual fictionalized story begins with a weathered sack, a blue tin box, and an old manuscript after excavating a failed swimming pool from his back yard, discovered to be written by one John Chapman (popularly known as Johnny Appleseed). The author researched the relationship between Appleseed and spiritual leader Emmanuel Swedenborg, coming to understand their spiritual connections and influences - and these facts are incorporated in a story line based around Appleseed's wanderings.
That this is a major facet in the life of a man who today is primarily known for his apple seedlings is astonishing.
Anyone could have produced a biography of Appleseed's life based on Internet research. The fact that this collection of fictionalized stories are driven by Appleseed's own writings makes it an extraordinary piece that deserves a place in any collection serious about spiritual writings in general or Appleseed's life and philosophy in particular. Its lively passion should attract a wide audience.