Posted in A Symphony of Cicadas, Blog

A mother cast into the spiritual world… A review of A Symphony of Cicadas

There are three kinds of people indie authors depend on to keep their dream alive:

1. People buying the author’s book
2. People telling others about the author’s book
3. People who leave reviews for the book once they’re done reading it

Bless the person who is all three!

Reviews, particularly, can be pretty hard to come by. That’s why you’ll often see us authors casually mention that reviews are always welcome (or rather, BEGGING you guys to leave reviews). Reviews not only serve as a big ego boost (trust me, our fragile egos do need occasional stroking), but they also are what help potential readers decide whether or not to buy the book. At least that’s how it is for me – I ALWAYS read the reader reviews before deciding whether a book is worth my time.

This weekend I received a review that I may have read at least a dozen times already. It not only shared snippets of the plot (without divulging any spoilers!), but shared how the reader could relate parts of the book to their own life.

I’m including a portion of the review here. To see the rest of the review (and several more), click here —-> http://amzn.to/17ayBAP.

(review by Claudine)

When a friend comes to you with a book they wrote, it can be bittersweet (“Sorry, Sci Fi/Romance/Young Adult isn’t my thing,” etc.) but I was compelled to read what she had written due to her excellent writing ability, which isn’t every ‘writer’s’ talent as you now. Even a GREAT story line can be ruined by a horrible writer. You try to be gentle with your review, but know in your heart it wasn’t great writing. Then, I WON a copy of her book and she sent it to me. Okay, I needed to read this. Now.

Wasn’t sure about the cover at first, thought to myself “Oh, no, is this a romance novel with bustiers flying and Fabio?” NO. No, it’s NOT. I promise, although there IS a certain chapter or two that must be there for the passion of the moment that is very fitting in each circumstance. Trust me.

I am please to write that THIS particular novel was the surprise book of the year for me. I expected great writing, great storytelling, but nothing prepared me for THIS story or the twists and turns it took along the way. I must also admit that being a Catholic and a former Orthodox Christian, the story reminded me of great mysteries and truths in our world and spiritual world without being preachy and directing you HOW to think about the characters, or MY beliefs (as a buffet Catholic now). The author allowed your mind to really digest the ideas and the amazing tapestry of spirituality brought into this well thought out book.

The protagonist, Rachel, grabs you and pulls you into the story immediately. Like Rachel, I am a mother with a son long after a divorce living with the man of her dreams, finally, I actually could feel what she was going through in the first few chapters when the tragedy hits and she struggles to make sense of her plight. The way in which these very delicate and novel shaping chapters were crafted must have drained her – even as she went in as a seasoned writer. I was linked to the book immediately and needed to take breaks in order to ‘digest’ what had last happened and take in the trauma that ensued from a BOOK. The power of the written word.

Emotional, yes. Beautifully written, yes. Painful at times, yes – but in a rich, well thought out way that made the prose seamless – the characters alive, the book even took on it’s own life many times.

When I read a book, I ‘see’ the movie playing out in my mind. IF it’s a well thought out and well written book. Seamless. This is one of those books.

Smack in the middle of the book is a mindblowing quick section regarding the afterlife and boundaries, a big boundary that I found amazing. Without giving anything away, I will tell you that it made me think of the Catholic’s version of purgatory (in a nicer way, much nicer – forget Dante) and the mystery of the Orthodox belief that the soul ‘wanders the earth for 40 days after death before departing’ — of course, 40 days is the count for everything in the church, and I’m sure the book goes on for way more than 40 days. Again, not preachy at all and fit for Christians and any other belief as well — a LOT of food for thought. Well done.

In the latter pages of the novel, there’s a section on Rachel’s parents which is full of adoration and beauty – the past, present and possible future with Aunt Rose is amazing and well played – and the ending of this book is nothing that you could imagine. I hear there’s another book in the works about this Rachel and I for one cannot wait to put my hands on one of the first copies to find out what she finds, who she becomes and what becomes of the families in the chapters.

Crissi did an amazing job for her first time at bat with this book. Of course, if I didn’t like it, I would have said so – but in a polite manner and with gentleness – and it wouldn’t have been THIS LONG of a review!!! I LOVED THIS BOOK and with my signed copy, I am giving it to another friend of mine to read and asking her to let us know her thoughts on this as well.

Do yourself a favor and read this book this summer. Then, share it with another. You will be richer for the experience of Rachel and her story. Thank you, Crissi, for this gem of a novel. Be proud.

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Author:

Author, writer, blogger. Follow me at crissilangwell.com.

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