The Book of Angels: Twin Flames Rising Kindle Edition
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This author grew up in Chicago, the setting of her book, and saw her political activist father fighting for the rights of young men of color. Having experienced racial profiling first-hand through her brothers and sons, El wanted to write a novel that shared the horrors of living life as a person of color in a world of violence.
Adding to this is a romantic element. Nathalie Parker is seeing a handsome man in her dreams, and her heart is yearning to meet him. She and her best friend visit a fortune teller, who tells her that he is her Twin Flame. “When Twin Flames first see each other, there is instant recognition on a soul level.”
To tell more would be to give away the plot. El writes a smart story with page-turning action. She brings up difficult topics while maintaining a plot that draws you in. I do feel the book would be stronger if El got deeper into her discussions of racial profiling and Planned Parenthood. These are very relevant, current topics and could really am up the relevancy of her novel. This is book one, however, so she has plenty of time to work out these concepts in the next book.
While heavy on the romance with a bit of erotica, this book is so much more. Written by a woman with experience living with the dangers of Chicago and racial profiling, you can hear her voice in the telling. It’s definitely a book that you should put on your “to-read” list.
In Maya’s Prologue she sets the tone of the tone of the novel and suggests the meaning of the title: ‘“Two and a half years!” Carson yelled. He adjusted the microphone on his earpiece and walked briskly across the stage. “It’s been two and a half years since America elected a reality television star to lead the free world.” My husband Carson lit up on stage. He commanded any room he was in with his baritone voice and big personality. He was the preacher at the largest black church in Chicago and preached to hundreds of people seated in the crowd. My daddy — people called him Navajo — sat in the pew next to me. He reached out and took my hand. I smiled at him, and he smiled back. He was proud of Carson and proud of me for marrying him.” “In two and a half years, more than three hundred and fifty black men and women have been reported to be killed by the police,” Carson preached. He raised his fist to the audience. “That’s just the number of deaths that have been reported.” “Brothers and sisters, one life taken in vain from this community is too many. Ladies and gentlemen, we live in a world of hatred and intolerance.” Behind him, three massive television screens broadcast his image into the crowd. The recording would be played on a local television channel, making Carson one of the most well-loved and well-recognized citizens of Chicago…“The crowd loved my husband. The camera loved him. Chicago loved him. But I couldn’t have hated him more.” And so beings a fascinating murder mystery.
In what appears to be a debut novel, Maya El tackles tough subject matter and that merely opens the floodgates for the spiritual message the book ultimately offers. Her book is very ‘now’ – politically from the current administration to the justice department to racial profiling, but different from other books that deal with these issues, Maya El inserts hope.
The synopsis of the story is brief but accurate: ‘A city on lockdown. A nation in turmoil. A president promising to "Make America a Safe Place to Live Again." A secret so ugly, it could destroy everything. Nathalie Parker is the pastor's wife at the largest "black" Baptist church in Chicago. From the outside she seems to have it all: A gorgeous house, a beautiful pool, a powerful husband. But things aren't always as they appear from the outside. Nathalie knows something isn't right with her husband, and the truth is far worse than she ever dreamed...In a city full of lies, cover-ups, and injustice, can Nathalie uncover the truth in her own marriage before it's too late? And what about the hauntingly seductive mystery man who keeps appearing in Nathalie's dreams?’
To pursue the storyline further would result in spoilers and for the impact of the story to have its maximum effect suffice it to say that Maya introduces the concept of Twin Flames from a visit to a psychic– ‘“Miss Nathalie, my spirit guides suggest I do a Twin Flame reading. A Twin Flame is a twin soul. They will represent your greatest friend, lover, or teacher in this life. Before birth, your single soul split into two halves. There are masculine energy twins and there are feminine energy twins. Twin Flames have been given a high order by God, the Creator, however you refer to him/her.”
And that psychic reading reveals the twin flame Natalie so desperately needs – Tariq, the lawyer son of her best friend. In a blend of sensuous erotica and terrifying family conflict Maya El accomplishes her goal of bringing to our attention the shabbiness of the present with the passion and perfection of finding our soulmate – our Twin Flame.
Powerful writing about a timely Weltschmerz, this is an author who deserves our attention. Maya even explains at books end the various astrological ages and their significance to her story and explains the Twin Flames concept to further enhance our appreciation of her writing. This is significant contemporary literature. Grady Harp, December 17
These are the questions at the heart of “Twin Flames Rising: The Book of Angels, Part One.” Author Maya El, a Chicago-born-and-raised mother of four, is also a registered nurse who has witnessed firsthand injustices like racial profiling. She is the daughter of a prominent Chicago-area political activist who spent his life working for racial justice. The society depicted in “Twin Flames Rising” is very similar to the environment in which Maya El has lived her life.
Written in first person, at a rapid-fire, suspenseful pace, Maya El portrays the south side of Chicago in turmoil. A strict curfew has been put into effect after several young women go missing, while tensions between police and local residents are building toward a slow boil. Our narrator, Nathalie, is stuck in an unhappy marriage with a strong community leader, a pastor with a positive public personality contrasted by a private hot temper and constant need for control.
Nathalie seeks emotional support from her father, who people call Navajo and her best friend, Tamika. But when her father suffers a stroke and a local youth is shot to death on nefarious drug charges, Nathalie’s sense of stability is threatened. What comes next is Nathalie’s search for a fresh start and a new soul mate to rebuild amongst the increasing chaos. Maya El incorporates several vivid sexual encounters, both in dreams and real life, making this a book for a mature audience. The novel’s final scenes are shocking and startling, as we discover the true nature of several major characters. The novel ends with the city of Chicago in chaos as buildings fall and panic spreads.
In this novel’s extensive post-script, Maya El explains the theory that we are living in a cyclical astrological time, full of dramatic turbulence and change. She says we have just emerged from “the age of Pisces,” a time of “deception and confinement … illusion and lies.” She forecasts that the new “age of Aquarius” will be ruled by “freedom, information, love and equality” during which the challenge for all of us will be “personal spiritual development.” Without this, she contends, there will be more chaos, and “destruction of life as we know it on this planet.”
Maya El also expounds on the theory of “Twin Flames,” a kind of advanced, evolved, ancient beings, also believed to be “angels” sent to Earth, who are vital is helping others to evolve spiritually. It’s fascinating information that is tied closely to her novel and bring it all back home. It also offers great hope and optimism for the future. The novel’s ending foreshadows things to come in Part Two of “Twin Flames Rising.”
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As a white suburbanite, I found Maya El's novel, "The Book of Angels: Twin Flames Rising" to be a real eye-opener.Read more