Saturday, November 19, 2011

When The Shadows Begin To Dance by Yamara Cruz

When The Shadows Began To Dance: A fiction book about African Culture, orisha religion, spiritual cleansing, ancient wisdom, self-development, Brujeria, egguns, and Shamanism (Volume 1)

The shamans believed that in time of turmoil, a person’s soul shatters into a dozen pieces. People are not equipped to deal with the full impact of a traumatic event, so parts of them break off and hide in the underworld, or what modern day psychologist would call the subconscious parts of the mind. The soul is incomplete and is unable to function without it’s lost pieces. So it becomes dysfunctional and susceptible to the external pressures of the world.

Shadows are the lost pieces of the soul. They are the suppressed thoughts and emotions that want to work they’re way out. Nelly Reyes is a young girl who has suffered abuse, mental illness and neglect. She struggles to string back the pieces of her soul. She needs to become whole again to stop the cycles of abuse that have plagued her mother Luisa and grandmother Maria. She needs to find the inner strength to stop her brother Ali from a life of violence and crime. It is only after she understands the awesome power of the Orishas and allows herself to be guided by her ancestors that she is able to destroy Nico, a cruel dark man who preys on the weak. When The Shadows Began To Dance is a story about overcoming the difficulties of mental illness and a shattered soul.

What I Can Tell You:

In my personal opinion this is a great book and while there were a few times I was confused by the story and had to re-read passages as the story bounces from reality to Nelly's reality. I read it in two days and from the first sentence was drawn in. It was a book I would have liked to read with a reading group to discuss along the way. It was interesting and although I originally wondered how I would review a book on a culture that I know nothing about, I am eager to learn more. There were terms used that I needed to look up afterward because I was hungry to know all I could.

There were times my heart broke for Nelly, our main character and how hard life was for her and how history was repeating itself. The sadness of her life and having to live on the run, changing homes, never feeling safe just made me want to cry because we all know too well that this is a reality for many children. There were also times I found myself wanting to thrust my fist in the air and say, you go girl.

My personal favorite moments are when Nelly's spirit guides are with her, or not!

So worth the read! Very original work from for a debut author.

I received a complimentary copy for my honest opinion.

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