4 out of 4 stars
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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.
Mirrors of Life
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