Review of “The Greening”

“What if a book could answer all your deepest questions…if you were willing to risk everything?”

In “The Greening,” by Margaret Coles, the main character, Joanna, is a Fleet Street journalist who happens to stumble upon the journal of a mysterious woman, named Anna Leigh.  The journal entries are mainly a confessional of her own encounters with Julian of Norwich.  Julian of Norwich was a woman from the mid-fourteenth century who devoted her life to prayer for the community.  Anna’s entries mention that Julian recorded all the messages she’d received from visions of the crucifixion.

Joanna is immediately astonished by Julian’s and Anna’s quests to find the answers that will lead to peace and happiness.  As she is drawn to the journal entries, Joanna wonders if one would have to endure pain and suffering in order to achieve happiness and peace, as she, too, struggles to find her own happiness.  She believes that the only way to know would be to find Anna.  However, Anna isn’t anywhere to be found.

Meanwhile, Joanna struggles with a choice she has to make while she is caught up in getting a story that involves an exposed government scandal where someone she loves may be involved.

To be honest, I am neither spiritual, nor am I religious.  However, I did enjoy reading this book.  The story had quite a few sad moments and I had to keep reading in order to find out if the main character would be able to make peace with her own conflicts during her quest for happiness.  Indeed, I would recommend this book.

FTC Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post.  I received the book from Hay House for review purposes.  The opinions are completely my own, based on my experience.  8d0ea256d06b4618b6af09a120855f98


The Rewards Are Endless

I recently started thinking about my last job, which was in retail.  Throughout my five and a half years of holding down that job, I recall fellow associates asking me about my career goals.  I told them that I’ve been a writer since I was in elementary school.  Although they were impressed, they would ask why I was working in retail.  That was a good question.  True, I didn’t know anything about fashion; however, I had to pay my bills and I had to eat.  Also, I believe that ideas for writing are everywhere, no matter where a person works.  As I think back to those conversations with my former co-workers, I can’t help but smile at their words about my “deserving better than retail.”  It’s nice to have that kind of support.  In fact, one did suggest that I become a teacher.  “I don’t think it’s something that I’d want to do,” I’d confessed.  I’ve always been an introvert and the thought of teaching an entire class scared me.

One day, however, I made a change by volunteering as a tutor for an adult literacy program at a local library.  After all, it’s important for everyone to have the opportunity to read and write well.  After I finished my first one-on-one session, the literacy coordinator asked how it went.  I told her that it went well, that my student was appreciative of my help.  During the rest of our conversation, I told the coordinator about my writing grammar and general education articles for an online column.  After she read one of my articles, she was quite impressed and asked if I’d like to help her host an upcoming grammar workshop.  I told her that I’d love to.

As I prepared to speak at the workshop for the evening–which took place a week ago–I was wondering if I was even ready for it all.  I’ve never hosted a workshop and I’ve never been a teacher.  I wondered if I would be good enough.  “What am I going to say for an entire hour?” I wondered.  Despite all my doubts, I remained calm.  The room, eventually, was filled with students and tutors from the adult literacy program.  Luckily, it was a small crowd.

After the coordinator spoke, she introduced me to the class and allowed me to take over from there.  During my introduction, I found myself becoming tongue-tied as I fumbled with my water bottle.  However, the students remained quiet as I continued.  While I was doing my lecture on personal pronouns, there were moments when I’d get stuck.  At the same time, I was afraid of what the students and tutors were thinking.  Nevertheless, I kept going.  During the rest of the lecture, the coordinator announced that she wanted everyone to work in groups to discuss their assigned grammar topic.  I looked at the clock and realized that time went by so quickly.  The workshop was half-way through.

While I assisted my group, two students expressed their appreciation for my lecture and told me that they’re trying to improve their reading and writing skills for a job opportunity that was coming their way.  I smiled and told them, “I’m glad it was helpful for you.”

I was calming down after the lecture was over, especially when all the students were telling me “thank you” and that I made the lecture very basic and simple.  That whole time that I was worried about what they’d thought of me, it turned out that they trusted me.  That was a great feeling.

I told the coordinator, “Thank you for giving me this opportunity.”  She assured me that the next lecture will better because I’ll have more practice.  After all, she knew what it was like to start out as a public speaker.

Ladies and gentleman, that’s my story.

“Becoming Indigo”

Indigo“Once you open up your heart, you are going to figure out what you are supposed to do.”

“Becoming Indigo”–by Tara Taylor and Laura Schultz Nicholson–is the story of Indigo Russell, who is fresh out of high school and living an independent life in her new apartment in downtown Ottawa with her two close friends.  The story takes place during the summertime, filled with partying, music, and boys.

While her friends and classmates are preparing to head off to college, Indie is undecided with any plans for her life as she continues to hold down her job to pay the rent.  Meanwhile, she becomes distracted on a daily basis when she starts to hear voices in the apartment.  She begins to wonder if the apartment, itself, is haunted or if there is more to it.

While she attempts to control her psychic abilities, she develops a close bond with a guy named Paul.  Not long after that, Indie’s first boyfriend, John, comes back into her life and makes a mess of everything.

Eventually, Indie meets Annabelle, a woman who shares the same, psychic abilities and teaches Indie to use tarot and oracle cards.  While getting in touch with her supernatural abilities, and facing heartache and danger, Indie is taught to follow her intuition and discover who she should trust.

As I started reading toward the middle of the story, I couldn’t really put it down.  I kept telling myself that I have to know what else happens.  This book, I believe, is a great, recommended read for the Young Adult audience.  Whether you believe in the truth behind tarot and oracle cards or not, I believe that this book is worth reading.  What I also liked is that the story wasn’t predictable.  The ending, in fact, made me smile a little.  The authors did a great job.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review.  The opinion in the review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.