Nationwide — Within the pages of Neal Owen’s debut novel, Mirrors of Life ($14.95, paperback, 9781733150309; $4.99, ebook, 9781733150323), the author uses conversation, drama, family structure, romance, suspense and philosophy to tell the story of how important family relationship are, and how community and faith are important building blocks.
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Mirrors of Life" by Neal Owens.]
4 out of 4 stars Share This Review
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Mirrors of Life is a debut novel authored by Neal Owens. The story and the quality of the publication are very impressive. I have read several books on the lives of African Americans, and most of them lay stress upon the value of education for the advancement of their communities. They also mention about juvenile delinquency, single-parent families, and how women protagonists train their children to cope with racial discrimination. Neal includes all these sociological themes, but he seems to be relatively more innovative in the endeavor.
It is an entertaining read with several coming-of-age personalities and young adults. Yvonne is a teenage mother. She desires her son, Mister, to be educated and not be influenced by his father. She falls in love with Cedric and gives birth to Derrick after he leaves for military combat. Yvonne marries Charles, and they have twin children, Junior and Charlene, with reddish-brown skin. The novel contains scenes of romance, graphic sexuality, abuse, and murder. I do not wish to spoil the read by sharing how these characters are impacted. Most of them are exceptionally gifted and internationally acclaimed. Junior is a sportsman. Derrick starts a film company and has dreams of being a venture capitalist to economically empower Black communities.
The character development in Mirrors of Life is fantastic with its Hollywood style. In my opinion, the story contains a lot of wishful thinking that is rarely found in real life. It could make a good movie because of its fast pace. There are scenes of violence with no time for families to mourn the loss of dear ones. I was amazed at their level of fortitude as well as their immediate acceptance of crisis and wondered whether they had been desensitized by the frequency of such occurrences among the Blacks. Scriptural references are scattered throughout the story and are inspiring. The love and solidarity among family members are touching. They see the dead continuing to live in their dear ones.
However, the concept of mirrors is very vague. I could not relate the images on the cover page with the title and contexts in which mirrors are mentioned in the book. One of the characters claims to see a dead relative in the mirror on several occasions. The author should have explained this clearly. I was surprised and disappointed after reading the last chapter as it turned out to be a cliffhanger. Nevertheless, it has stimulated my curiosity to read the continuation of the story in the next novel.
As mentioned in the book, the text seems to have been professionally edited. I found only a few typos. Overall, it is an excellent read. I rate this novel 4 out of 4 stars. I did not give a lower rating because it is unique and entertaining. It may appeal to young adults, social workers, pastors, and educationists. It is not meant for children because they may feel disturbed by the contents.
Reviewed By Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite
Mirrors of Life: What is Your Life in the Mirror? by Neal Owens is a riveting young adult story that explores racial themes, family, faith, and what it takes to succeed in a society where one's background already sets one up for failure. Yvonne is a young woman whose only dream is to raise strong and God-fearing children, imbuing them with the right philosophy to make them succeed in life. When one of her sons, Derrick, acquires a fortune, he is determined to create a positive impact on the lives of others. His attempts at building a business that reduces retail and gas prices pits him against powerful men in the business, including the greedy Erich Hornsby. A spiritually centered and God-fearing man, does Derrick have the kind of fight in him to help him win in a vicious and unforgiving business environment?
The story is compelling and the author explores the experiences of black Americans and the place that spirituality has in their lives. The book is laced with spiritual references and thoughts that are insightful and philosophical. I enjoyed the scenes where characters talk about life, often drawing inspiration from the Bible or using philosophy to define a path forward. The reader meets characters who are compelled by necessity, hardship, or poverty to think deeply about life and reality, often with humor. Neal Owens infuses the story with realism and explores the depth of characters. The prose is crisp and there is a lyrical quality to the writing that makes it appealing. Mirrors of Life is gripping, entertaining, and thought-provoking.
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