Official Review: Shadowing Sarah; A psychosexual novel

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Ruba Abu Ali
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Latest Review: Shadowing Sarah; A psychosexual novel by Irene Gillman

Official Review: Shadowing Sarah; A psychosexual novel

Post by Ruba Abu Ali » 03 Sep 2019, 05:55

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Shadowing Sarah; A psychosexual novel" by Irene Gillman.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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“Sexuality is one of the ways that we become enlightened, actually, because it leads us to self-knowledge.” Alice Walker

Shadowing Sarah; A psychosexual novel by Irene Gillman is the tale of Sarah, a psychotherapist, who embarks on a journey of healing with her eight patients after their therapist dies.

Sarah is a shadow of the author herself, who is a seasoned psychotherapist and Professor of psychology, including human sexuality. Each one of Sarah’s patients has a different story, and as she works with them in both group and individual psychotherapy sessions, she comes to the realization that she has similar issues. Some of her patients achieve their goal of self-discovery, but others don’t.

Shadowing Sarah is narrated through Sarah’s eyes, whose internal monologues are a representation of her past sexual exploits and memories, which were often triggered by her patients’ disclosure of their sexual desires, activities, and fetishes.

This book stands out for its analytical, clear, straightforward, and candid writing style. Also intriguing is Sarah’s well-rounded, upfront, and transparent character. Her patients’ characters, inner conflicts, and struggles are portrayed in a manner that makes the reader root for every one of them and get immersed in their stories.

There is such wisdom and honesty in the prose that mandates the reader to stop and think, “You spoke earlier about your concerns for your grandchildren. I understand, but the only thing you can do is to show them love and caring, and to be there for them when they ask for help. Resist criticizing their mother, since your disapproval will set them against either you or her; the more stress in the family, the worse it will be for all of you, including your daughter-in-law.”

I liked that the author stated the primary purpose of the book, to demonstrate that therapists having issues, just like patients and readers.

Moreover, I enjoyed the dynamics of interaction between Sarah and her patients in the psychotherapy sessions. These sessions put the sexual struggles within the context of relationship stress, which adds depth and believability to the prose.

Furthermore, I appreciated the disclaimer in the foreword for the presence of explicit sexual sections. That said, I found some sexual fantasies, such as sodomy and sadism a little disturbing. Moreover, it felt to me that a considerable portion of the text was devoted to the details of Sarah’s sexual fantasies, a part of which at least, could have been passed upon without affecting the story.

This psychosexual novel is a very particular read that would appeal to a subset of readers who enjoy these genres. Putting judgment aside and embarking on reading this book with an open heart and mind, will render it such an enlightening experience. However, youngsters and people offended by explicit sexual content would better steer clear of this one.

On a side note, I was impressed by the pristine editing, which made of this read a smooth and enjoyable one. That, along with the direct and truthful tackling of thorny issues like abuse, rape, and private sexual fantasies, amongst others, gives me no choice but to rate Shadowing Sarah by Irene Gillman 4 out of 4 stars.

On a final note, reading this book reminded me of David Kinnaman’s words, “Sexuality should not be seen as dualistic all good or all bad, but as a good part of our created nature that is constantly in need of repair.”

******
Shadowing Sarah; A psychosexual novel
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Kathleen Wolfe
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Post by Kathleen Wolfe » 07 Sep 2019, 00:18

I liked your review but I don't think this book is for me so I'll pass on this. Thanks for the review! :D

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Ruba Abu Ali
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Latest Review: Shadowing Sarah; A psychosexual novel by Irene Gillman

Post by Ruba Abu Ali » 07 Sep 2019, 04:07

Kathleen Wolfe wrote: ↑
07 Sep 2019, 00:18
I liked your review but I don't think this book is for me so I'll pass on this. Thanks for the review! :D
Thanks for dropping by and for the comment.

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Post by Andy_C » 07 Sep 2019, 17:49

Fantastic review. At the moment I'm very drawn to novels that offer many perspectives. I wonder whether the inner lives of the characters interlink in important ways, thematically or otherwise, or does the novel have a sense of being made up of disparate elements? I love the quotes you use her e, by the way.

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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth » 08 Sep 2019, 14:05

While a few of the scenes sound disturbing, overall it sounds like an intriguing book! I really like the concept of the book and I enjoy learning about why people do the things that they do. It is too bad about the grammatical errors. Thanks for the honest review!

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Post by Cecilia_L » 13 Sep 2019, 16:57

I agree with Stephanie. Although the explicit scenes would usually turn me away, your review and especially your description of the ending pique my interest. Thanks, Ruba!

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Latest Review: Shadowing Sarah; A psychosexual novel by Irene Gillman

Post by Ruba Abu Ali » 15 Sep 2019, 11:07

Cecilia_L wrote: ↑
13 Sep 2019, 16:57
I agree with Stephanie. Although the explicit scenes would usually turn me away, your review and especially your description of the ending pique my interest. Thanks, Ruba!
Thank you, Cecilia. :D

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Ruba Abu Ali
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Latest Review: Shadowing Sarah; A psychosexual novel by Irene Gillman

Post by Ruba Abu Ali » 15 Sep 2019, 11:08

Stephanie Elizabeth wrote: ↑
08 Sep 2019, 14:05
While a few of the scenes sound disturbing, overall it sounds like an intriguing book! I really like the concept of the book and I enjoy learning about why people do the things that they do. It is too bad about the grammatical errors. Thanks for the honest review!
Thanks for the insight, Stephanie.

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Ruba Abu Ali
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Latest Review: Shadowing Sarah; A psychosexual novel by Irene Gillman

Post by Ruba Abu Ali » 15 Sep 2019, 11:09

Andy_C wrote: ↑
07 Sep 2019, 17:49
Fantastic review. At the moment I'm very drawn to novels that offer many perspectives. I wonder whether the inner lives of the characters interlink in important ways, thematically or otherwise, or does the novel have a sense of being made up of disparate elements? I love the quotes you use her e, by the way.
Thank you. :tiphat:

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Post by Ekta Swarnkar » 15 Sep 2019, 11:37

I may not want to read the book, but I must admit that I find the story interesting. I think it is reallyl nice to describe the relationship of a doctor (sort of) with his patients. Amazing review!

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Ruba Abu Ali
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Latest Review: Shadowing Sarah; A psychosexual novel by Irene Gillman

Post by Ruba Abu Ali » 15 Sep 2019, 11:44

Ekta Swarnkar wrote: ↑
15 Sep 2019, 11:37
I may not want to read the book, but I must admit that I find the story interesting. I think it is reallyl nice to describe the relationship of a doctor (sort of) with his patients. Amazing review!
Thank you for dropping by and for the comment.

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