Profile for Story Circle Book Reviews > Reviews

Browse

Story Circle Boo...'s Profile

Customer Reviews: 1282
Helpful Votes: 5669




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Story Circle Book Reviews RSS Feed

Show:  
Page: 21-30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41-50
pixel
Celtic Myth and Religion: A Study of Traditional Belief, with Newly Translated Prayers, Poems and Songs
Celtic Myth and Religion: A Study of Traditional Belief, with Newly Translated Prayers, Poems and Songs
by Sharon Paice MacLeod
Edition: Paperback
Price: $33.25
29 used & new from $28.87

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A deep Celtic well of wisdom..., June 6, 2012
Celtic Myth and Religion, A Study of Traditional Belief, with Newly Translated Prayers, Poems and Songs is a well-researched and richly diverse scholarly study of Celtic myth and religion, and an abundant treasure trove of information for both a novice, such as myself, or a student of Celtic history. Author Sharon Paice MacLeod's passion to learn more about her Celtic heritage led her, as a young person, to begin studying medieval history. She researched back in time to more ancient sources studying some of the Celtic languages, "which really 'cracked open' the hazelnuts of knowledge, revealing layers of understanding which would have other wise remained hidden or obscured." Thus was born Sharon MacLeod's pursuit of professional academic Celtic studies, which took her "into a path of marvels, mysteries and discovery."

Celtic Myth and Religion contains three sections: Celtic Religion and Mythology, Celtic Shamanism and Wisdom Traditions, and Celtic Legends and Folklore. In the opening pages we learn that an early requisite to understanding the myths and religions of the Celtic peoples is "to identify some of the basic elements of those beliefs and practices." Although early Celts lived in a huge expanse of regions that included Turkey, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, northern Italy, much of Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Britain and Ireland, and religions differed in varied regions, the people each shared nine common elements:

* The worship of both male and female deities
* Respect for ancestors and elders
* Appreciation of the natural world
* The interconnection between this world and the Otherworld
* The cyclical nature of time and the immortality of the soul
* Cosmology and the sacred center
* The cauldron, the sword, the well, the head, the number three
* The importance of knowledge and skill
* Respect for truth, honor and courage

Additionally, to understand Celtic beliefs and practices it is necessary to be aware of the culture and times. MacLeod has provided three primary sources to aid readers: archaeology, classical accounts or early written records that were usually reliable yet occasionally less so when second-hand accounts were passed on, and native writings dating back as early as the fifth or sixth centuries, often in monasteries. The latter two sources each have strong areas of reliability yet MacLeod also considers the recorders' biases.

In these fascinating pages we meet diverse people, as well as varied aspects of the natural and spiritual world. Bards, seers, druids, shamans, animal and bird symbols, Arthur's Legend, fairies, healers, seers, and more grace the pages of this delightful, and often, magical book.

I found it interesting that triads are important to Celtic tradition and discovered many throughout the book. One of MacLeod's favorite triads, that I also like, is: Three candles that illuminate every darkness: Truth, nature and knowledge.

MacLeod provides an extensive bibliography along with several pages of chapter notes. Three appendices provide more information women's rights in early Celtic culture, further reading and study suggestions and, my favorite, Celtic Folksong Traditions. This last appendix is a natural extension of this study since the author is also an accomplished singer and musician. In this lovely overview I found songs as well as poems and prayers set to music, written in beautiful ancient languages, including Scottish Gaelic, each with an accompanying English translation. I found myself wishing for just one more addition to this particular appendix: the musical notes, so that I could sing or hum the tune and actually hear the often-haunting song.

For anyone wanting to more deeply explore their Irish roots, like me, or to simply journey into a land rich in ancient history and folklore, MacLeod give us a deep Celtic well of wisdom from which to draw.

by Mary Jo Doig
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women


The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work, and Family
The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work, and Family
by Madeleine Kunin
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.39
53 used & new from $2.99

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than a Mystery, May 30, 2012
The New Feminist Agenda, by Madeleine M. Kunin, reminds today's women and men that the feminist movement opened many doors. However, much work remains and it belongs to all of us, not just women. Kunin's latest work challenges readers to think about proven international solutions. She presents and explains potential alternatives in terms readers can understand. She talks to the family, about the family, from the perspective of a woman who didn't always have it all and made choices, as well as one who initiated and advocated for changes when her position provided the opportunities. It's not about feminism; it's a plan for the next phase of work that needs to follow the work done by the 60s feminists, who blazed the beginning of a long trail.

While families struggle to survive financially, according to Kunin's research, 44% of the members of Congress are millionaires, and the median net worth of Congressional members increased 15% from 2006 to 2010. Yet, the net worth for all Americans dropped 8% in the same period. A U.S. election took place in 2008, which puts half of that time before the current President took office and half after. This is not a short-term problem. It's obvious the members of Congress don't face the concerns and challenges of the average person, much less those of average families dealing with rising costs of childcare, unemployment, medical care, education, food, and shelter.

Making changes is never easy. Kunin points out that after WWI veterans weren't considered capable of attending college, and almost twenty-two years elapsed before the GI bill passed. Yet other countries provide more benefits and continue to outrank the U.S. in competitiveness, according to the World Economic Forum's Global competitiveness Index (2010-2011).

As former President Bill Clinton states, "She (the author) presents a convincing roadmap for how we achieve that vision and calls on all of us to be part of a brighter future." Kunin does a masterful job of evaluating the costs of not confronting the fact that the U.S. has not faced up to our problems. The child poverty rate is going up, not only because of the recession. At 22%, it's higher than it's been in two decades. As of December 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau information shows nearly one in two Americans are poor or low-income, and that includes 57% of the nation's children.

Childhood poverty in Nordic countries is the lowest in the world. The U.S. is six times higher, but we are wealthier than any of those countries. Clearly, there's a lot to learn from Kunin's research and global experience. Although you have to read the book to grasp the detail and research put into this work, here are eight rather shocking statistics.

* The U.S. places 69th out of 178 countries for women in parliaments. Yet, women are nearly 60% of college undergraduates and 50% of medical and law students.
* Incarceration in the U.S. is the highest in the world (nine times higher than Canada), without translating to greater safety for the people.
* We rank lower than 30 other countries in a Global Test (PISA) of 15 year olds. (The U.S. is 17th in reading.)
* In Newsweek's list of the 100 best countries, the U.S. ranks number 11.
* The U.S. is the only wealthy country in the world that doesn't have paid leave to care for a newborn.
* In infant mortality, 47 countries rank better than the U.S.
* The U.S. ranks 12th among 36 developed countries in percentage of college graduates.
* Out of 21 of the wealthiest countries, the U.S. is the only one not providing paid sick days for sick workers or those with an ill family member.

Kunin explores both sides of the issues and examines the impacts on business and government, as well as individuals and families. She offers detailed research, hard numbers, historical background, and explains possible solutions and compromises. There's a lot to digest, especially since Americans in the U. S. want to believe our country is different and better than other places. Kunin's information makes one wonder if a lack of exposure to other cultures and lifestyles simply makes us sitting ducks for anything politicians and the media want to sell us.

Businesses continue to say more benefits will hurt business. However, she also notes that when U.S. companies do business in nations with these policies, they can't "opt out." They actually provide non-American workers with benefits they don't provide to employees here. It's simply not true that they can't survive if they provide such benefits, or they wouldn't be operating in that country. Of course, most people don't know that.

The bottom line among all of the statistics is that there are answers, but nothing will happen until we decide what we want and then stand together. On the other hand, solutions exact a cost. Just as the plumber doesn't work for free, no one gets something for nothing. Kunin's ability to explain the mounds of information, as well as to point out how they apply to the reader personally, makes The New Feminist Agenda very readable.

Kunin takes a dry topic makes it almost exciting, while dissecting the governmental workings and historical facts along the way. In addition, she does a masterful job of looking at all sides and staying on track to explain, educate, and offer potential solutions. In the end, even though the term feminism is outdated, as more people demand change, Kunin's book may be the most important guideline available to help the U.S. forge a path toward long-term benefits for individuals and families.

by Penny J. Leisch
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 5, 2012 5:57 PM PST


The Mercury Fountain
The Mercury Fountain
by Eliza Factor
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.53
103 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forbidding land, forbidding man, May 22, 2012
This review is from: The Mercury Fountain (Paperback)
The first time I visited West Texas and saw the vast Chihuahuan Desert sweeping northward across the Rio Grande, both wonder and horror engulfed me. Wonder at the stunning but arid beauty of the land and horror that people must find a way to wrestle a living from this forbidding land.

It is in this forbidding setting that Owen Scraperton sought not only to tear a living from beneath the land by mining mercury, but also to spread his personal philosophy by establishing his workers in a utopian community. It seemed utopia to Scraperton, but not to all of those who fell under his sway; not only many of the workers but also his strong-minded Mexican wife Delores and his irrepressible daughter Victoria whose early life this novel spans.

Born in 1900 as the story opens, Victoria's first sight of her father was of a man covered in mercury ore--by design. He wanted her to know from the start that this was her life, her destiny. She spent her childhood reading the framed copy of "The Principles of Pristina" which outlined Scraperton's standards for Pristina, the town he owned and ran along with his deadly mine.

The book, although relatively brief, sweeps through the next twenty-three years. It tells more than the story of a girl, a family, a town; it moves through history and human natures. Underlying it all is mercury. A fountain of the deadly and fascinating liquid dominates the center of town. The idea and mythology of the messenger god, the capricious Mercury, winds through the book.

The author brings not only the major characters of Owen, Delores, and Victoria to well-rounded life but also many of the minor ones--Dr. Badinoe having his forbidden booze brought in on the water cart; Ysidro growing from a dusty peon urchin into a talented and worldly young man. This is a story well-told that deals with a little known time and place.

by Trilla Pando
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women


Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers
Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers
by Susan Ito
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.41
95 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read, May 20, 2012
Motherhood for adoptive and birth mothers is a life-changing experience. Writing helps the confusion that new mothers flounder through as they fight post-partum depression, exhaustion, and finding new coping skills. This experience, as Kate Hopper's Introduction notes, "...was the stuff of which real literature was made."

The 14 chapters on creative nonfiction cover such topics as voice, character development, using concrete details, and publishing. The exercises in each chapter will help writers block and launch new creative threads.

In her foreword, Hope Edelman, the author of The Possibility of Everything, observes: "Turning personal experience into readable prose is a daunting process for anyone, and carving out the time to do so isn't easy with a house full of short people in need of constant attention." I can personally relate to this and also agree with her comment that "...we mothers are pros at multitasking."

In the back of the book, readers will find the eighteen contributor bios, reading questions, list of resources, acknowledgments, writing prompts, index, author picture and bio, finding an agent tips and resources, and other aids. This is a guide meant to be underlined, highlighted, reread, bookmarked, carried around, shared, by countless mothers.

by Carol Smallwood
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women


Another Bad-Dog Book: Tales of Life, Love, and Neurotic Human Behavior
Another Bad-Dog Book: Tales of Life, Love, and Neurotic Human Behavior
by Joni B. Cole
Edition: Paperback
Price: $3.35
31 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Funny Behavior, May 20, 2012
Another Bad-Dog Book is not just about bad dogs--or good dogs. Joni Cole writes about a lot of the things that we all think, but don't say out loud. Some of the stories made me laugh out loud and some brought tears to my eyes. It's a great collection of emotions.

Cole was thrilled to find out that she was born in the Year of the Dog. She says:

I have a bad dog, Eli. In fact, I've had several bad dogs throughout the years, all of them as incorrigible as any of those troublemakers whose life stories have been made into major motion pictures. Yet with all the bad-dog behavior, I love Eli with all my heart. He loves me so much that it somehow makes me feel more lovable.

She writes about her husband that she's been married to for more than two decades, and wonders whether he really is her best friend. She writes as well about her dad, who was confined in a nursing home after his stroke took away most of what he could do and a lot of who he was, but could still make her laugh. No matter what was going on during her visits, he was still her dad.

On a trip to a concert with her daughter there were a lot of disappointments, but the best part was coming face-to-face with a real American idol. One morning she woke up with severe heel pain. She checked the Internet and diagnosed herself with plantar fasciitis. She felt that not going to a doctor would be better than going because if you wait long enough the pain will disappear on its own. Six months later she gave up and went to a doctor who gave her orthotics. Sometimes we just have to change our perspective.

One of my favorite stories was about New Year's resolutions--helping the Old Me to become the New Me. It didn't take long for Cole to realize that this yearly ritual didn't work. But she recalls what Hachiko said, "If today doesn't bring us what we've been hoping and waiting for, there's always tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that." Sounds like a great way to not only start the New Year but every day of the year.

Cole reminds me of Erma Bombeck. You could swear she knows you personally because all the stories hit so close to home. Read and enjoy!

by Doris Anne Roop-Benner
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
by Susan Cain
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.31
229 used & new from $3.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet Power, May 19, 2012
Montgomery, Alabama. December 1, 1955. A public bus pulls to a stop and a sensibly dressed woman in her forties gets on. She carries herself erectly, despite having spent the day bent over an ironing board in a dingy basement tailor shop at the Montgomery Fair department store. Her feet are swollen, her shoulders ache. She sits in the first row of the Colored section and watches quietly as the bus fills with riders. Until the driver orders her to give her seat to a white passenger.

The woman utters a single word that ignites one of the most important civil rights protests of the twentieth century, one word that helps America find its better self.

The word is "No."

So begins Susan Cain's riveting book on introversion, the much-maligned personality trait shared by more of us than you would probably guess: one out of every two or three Americans, a third to half of our nation, are introverts. "If you're not an introvert yourself," Cain writes, "you're surely raising, managing, married to, or coupled with one."

As Cain points out in this powerful and compellingly readable analysis of how personality type shapes culture and history, to be an introvert is not necessarily to be shy, as many people think, or slow, or timid. (Note the negative connotation of those words.)

While there is no standard definition of "introvert," Cain says (this despite hundreds of studies on the common personality trait), she picks out several key characters of the quiet end of the introvert-extrovert continuum. Introverts do just fine on less outside stimulation, she writes, "as when they sip wine with a close friend, solve a crossword puzzle, or read a book." Introverts work more slowly and deliberately, do less multi-tasking, and "can have mighty powers of concentration." Introverts may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation.

Further, she points out, introverts tend to "dislike conflict" and "have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions."

Quiet is no feel-good pop psychology book; it's a thorough and insightful look at those of us who, like Rosa Parks, know the power of quiet fortitude in a world that could use to do a lot less talking and more listening, a lot more being and less doing, a lot more steadily acting on core beliefs and a lot less accumulating riches and stuff, and a lot more loving than bragging and fighting. (Just sayin'.)

Quiet illuminates what introverts have to contribute to a world that Cain maintains really, truly needs our gifts:

Take the partnership of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.: a formidable orator refusing to give up his seat on a segregated bus wouldn't have had the same effect as a modest woman who'd clearly prefer to keep silent but for the exigencies of the situation.

Quiet reads like the Introvert Manifesto, and in true introvert style, it's not about violence or even oratory; it's a thoughtful and thought-provoking call to use our power for our own and the world's good, and to nurture and take pride in our own characteristically quiet, deep and considered gifts.

by Susan J. Tweit
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women


Ravenous: A Food Lover's Journey from Obsession to Freedom
Ravenous: A Food Lover's Journey from Obsession to Freedom
by Dayna Macy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.25
69 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Woman's Journey to Food Freedom, May 17, 2012
In Ravenous: A Food Lover's Journey from Obsession to Freedom, Dayna Macy shares her feelings with us--about food and how it has shaped her life from the time she was a little girl gorging on Halloween candy and Laughing Cow cheese. As she advances in age she increases in weight until, at age 48 and women's size 18, she decides she has to find a way to change her relationship with food.

Macy begins her journey by exploring her four favorite "binge" foods: sausage, cheese, chocolate (of course!), and olives. She does this by actually visiting places where these are produced, in some cases even taking part in the process. Unsatisfied with the results of these visits, she widens her scope, spending time with a Buddhist meditation teacher and cook, as well as learning how to forage for food and, at one point, watching the slaughter of cattle on a small farm that sells organic beef. Eventually, she does find a way to bring about change in her life. She loses weight, yes, but she also gains a connection to food and its many sources that seems to ground her and allow her to eat more consciously and mindfully, ultimately affecting her whole life.

I was intrigued by the premise of Ravenous before I ever picked it up. Having struggled for years with anorexia, I was surprised to realize that Macy's path to "freedom" was actually very similar to my own. Macy said once in an interview, when asked whether she was free of her obsession with food, "I'd say I'm freer, but I'm not fully free. I'm a work in progress." This is exactly how I see my relationship with food as well.

Another intriguing thing about Ravenous is the fact that it is, overall, a light-hearted and enjoyable read. Macy gives us glimpses of the darker aspects of her journey, but the book is not difficult to read on any level. Her optimism, honesty, and sense of humor overshadow this, showing the strength of her spirit throughout the book.

Ravenous is not a how-to book. It is an insightful, enjoyable look into how one person was able to confront her food demons and come out on the other side, on her personal road to freedom from obsession.

by Khadijah Lacina
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women


Mariposa Landing
Mariposa Landing
by Margaret M. Nava
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.66
28 used & new from $5.46

4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Quit Playing, May 16, 2012
This review is from: Mariposa Landing (Paperback)
Mariposa Landing is a novel about the love of family, faith, and friends. It's the third in a series about Angela's fictionalized life. After meeting and falling in love with Gilberto and moving to West Virginia to raise goats, she is getting ready to travel to Mariposa Landing, Alabama, to meet the daughter that she gave up for adoption decades ago.

When they arrive in Alabama, Angela wants everything to be perfect before she meets her daughter. Gilberto thinks she is already perfect--he is so crazy in love with her. So, she needn't have worried. When she finally meets Rebecca, she loves Angela immediately and says "Thank you, Angela, for giving me a good home. My adoptive parents were good people. But you were the one who made sure that I was taken care of and loved."

Rebecca helps to run Mariposa Landing, which is a farm for families who want to work and study to pass their citizenship test. Dominick, her teenage son, lives there with her. He was born with spina bifida, and had surgery shortly after he was born, but was permanently paralyzed and has never walked. This does not deter him. Angela is smitten with him right away and they will share not only some wild adventures, but a mutual love between grandmother (Grams) and grandson.

Nava tells us about all of Angela's interesting friends: Gelah, her best friend, who helped find her daughter; Katherine of the Foxy Ladies; Angela's troubled brother Tony; Steve the Preacher and his wife Monica; and Jack who owns a unique gift shop and his mother Vesta who are Rebecca's friends. All of them and more are connected in her "Circle of Life."

Angela readily admits that nothing extraordinary happened in her life, just ordinary day-to-day events. Every chapter shows a celebration of joy, hope, and new beginnings. And, as Angela likes to say, "you don't quit playing because you grow old--you grow old because you quit playing."

by Doris Anne Roop-Benner
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women


The Invitation: A Novel
The Invitation: A Novel
by Anne Cherian
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.51
72 used & new from $0.01

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Family, Friendship, and Success in an Imperfect World, May 12, 2012
When Vikram invites his Indian college friends to his son's graduation party, they accept out of obligation and curiosity. It's been 25 years since their days as young immigrant college students at UCLA and their lives have gone in completely different directions. How will their lives compare? Who has been the most successful and managed to achieve the elusive American dream? How far will each go to put on the best front of success and happiness while hiding their unhappiness, discontent, and unfulfilled dreams?

Anne Cherian's newest novel The Invitation is like an Indian version of Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club. Jump head-first into the fast-paced lives of three couples: Frances and Jay, Lali and Jonathan, Vikram and Priya. The characters are multifaceted and complicated, a precarious combination of Indian roots, American futures, and the mixed-in-between present in which each of them lives.

Frances and Jay are a hard-working Indian couple who are always short on time and money. Not only is Frances' real-estate career failing to thrive, but her daughter is failing high school. Hearing that their old friend's son is graduating from a prestigious school is like a slap in the face. The two are mortified that their friends will find out about their daughter's failings. Jay also feels unaccomplished next to his successful friend Vikram and wonders why his life can't be as "perfect." He came from a wealthy Indian family and was always destined to accomplish big things...why is it that these big things haven't happened?

Lali and Jonathan's marriage is crumbling as Jonathan rediscovers his Jewish roots and Lali cannot connect with his passion. She feels alone and left out of Jonathan's world and begins to rekindle an old flame. The possibility for an affair is right in front of her if she wants it. Is it worth the risk of discovery?

Vikram and Priya live in a mansion and drive expensive cars. Vikram's software company is hugely successful and his eldest son has just graduated from MIT. Everything is perfect...or so they want the world to believe. That's why they're throwing the graduation party. In truth, their son has no intention of taking over his father's business and using his degree. He wants to become a chef. Vikram hates this idea. His perfect life is full of discontent and conflict, making it all the harder to clothe his life in a sheath of faux-perfection.

The book's ending was abrupt and inconclusive, but that's my only complaint. I was instantly enthralled by the couples' intertwining lives. I loved the humanity of the characters the imperfections of their lives, despite their efforts to prove to the Indian community that they have it all. The Invitation is fresh and funny. Prepare to step into the colorful and unique lives of these American Indians. You'll love every moment of it.

by Jennifer Melville
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women


Kamakwie: Finding Peace, Love, and Injustice in Sierra Leone
Kamakwie: Finding Peace, Love, and Injustice in Sierra Leone
by Kathleen Martin
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.95
34 used & new from $11.53

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Lesson for Us All, May 7, 2012
Kamakwie was a very difficult book to read. I can only imagine how difficult it was for Kathleen Martin to write.

"When I went to Sierra Leone...I knew I would see things that would make me sad. And I knew...that I would also find happiness growing like determined wildflowers--seemingly oblivious to the troubles all around. But there was so much I did not know. I did not know the vast darkness of war. I did not know how vicious fate could be. I did not expect at times to feel as if I were imprisoned in a dream where, no matter how I shouted or waved my arms, I could not be heard or seen."

This book is clearly Martin's attempt to be heard and seen by the world outside of Sierra Leone, as she tells the story of the people of a country that has so long been held in the vise-like grip of poverty and war. It is not told so much for herself as for the people she met and connected with there, like Abu, a young boy enamored equally of learning and soccer. Like Sallay, who sees atrocities in the war that she has to share, and then later is able to laugh with her sons, showing the triumph of the human spirit over the ugliness of needless death and destruction. Martin writes of her,

"I can see, as she speaks, that story digging into her body, clawing into her skin, twisting through her veins on its way out."

I suspect that the story of the people of Kamakwie, and, indeed, of Sierra Leone, did the same for Martin. She accepted the challenge and created an extraordinary book. Kamakwie is a double-edged sword, eloquent both in language and in the spirit captured in the stunning photographs throughout the book.

Just as telling the story of her stay in Sierra Leone--spending time in hospitals and schools, getting to know mothers and babies, grandfathers and teachers--was a challenge for Martin to write, it is also a challenge for us, the readers. There are sections of the book that are very hard to read, hard to get our minds and hearts around. This was true for me, and I have lived in a third-world country for years, experienced war and seen first hand the effects of malnutrition and lack of medical care. Kamakwie is a glimpse into a world most will never experience. The book asks all of us to open our hearts and minds and to somehow, in some way, make a difference.

by Khadijah Lacina
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women


Page: 21-30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41-50