Official Review: Foretold: An Epic Spiritual Journey

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1ditzyrn
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Official Review: Foretold: An Epic Spiritual Journey

Post by 1ditzyrn » 27 Sep 2018, 11:52

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Foretold: An Epic Spiritual Journey" by Susan Smith Davis.]
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1 out of 4 stars
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Foretold: An Epic Spiritual Journey by Susan Smith Davis is a nonfiction novel that details the life of the author after she experiences two vivid dreams in young adulthood. Smith feels that these dreams are messages speaking to her of what is to come in her life. What follows is a journey in which Smith attempts to discern the meaning of these dreams and bring them to life.

The story begins with Susan discussing her engagement and subsequent marriage to her first husband. In this introduction she discusses the difference in religious beliefs between the two, but also discusses how she feels that both religions are the same at their core. The reader then follows along as Smith talks about her five children and the early years of her marriage, which lays a background for the introduction of the two dreams and how her life would change after those experiences.

Following these dreams, Smith sets out to make drastic changes in her life. She begins by telling her husband that she wants a divorce, and she then continues on to carve out a life for herself and her children. The author discusses her struggles with being a single mother, as well as the struggles she experienced while attempting to find her soulmate.

I must say that I was excited to read this book after reading the blurb listed for the book. However, upon reading the story I found that the brief description for this novel was misleading. I found that most of the novel was not really about a spiritual journey, but more about Smith’s journey to find friends and partners. The dreams are mentioned in detail when they occur, but only briefly mentioned in pieces later in the story. The book came across as a chronicling of one woman’s relationship history rather than her spiritual growth. The author does mention that she is growing spiritually as the result of several calls with a phone psychic, but does not share exactly how she is changing.

The hardest part for me while reading this novel was that I just could not identify with or sympathize with the author during her journey. While I understood why she didn’t want to be married any longer, I could not understand her actions after that. Some of her behaviors came across as selfish or obsessive and I could not understand her reactions in some situations. This made it really difficult for me to truly be invested in her journey.

I also found the author’s writing style to be distracting. There are times in the writing where the author seems to ramble on about different people that she meets at various karaoke events. The writing was unfocused, and I often had to read a passage more than once to understand who the author was discussing. In a few chapters it is hard to find a central point, and the timeline jumps forwards and backwards. There were several instances of run-on sentences and poorly placed punctuation marks, as well as a few spelling errors and words used incorrectly. Because of these errors and issues with the writing style, I rate this book 1 out of 4 stars.

******
Foretold: An Epic Spiritual Journey
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Post by ParadoxicalWoman » 30 Sep 2018, 01:41

I was intrigued at first but after I read the part of your review on how unfocused the writing is, then that's the turned off. Thanks for the candid review.
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Post by liftedbooks » 30 Sep 2018, 03:41

I'm not sue if I am understanding this correctly. Did she divorce her husband because of the dreams? That sounds a bit weird. It really does not sound like my kind of book. Well done on a great review!

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Post by jcoad » 30 Sep 2018, 08:01

Wow, sounds like a tough read. A true bait and switch on Spiritual Journey to Karaoke bars. I had to do a tough 1-star review and found myself writing it in my head about half way through. Thanks for your honest review!

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Post by Rosemary Khathibe » 30 Sep 2018, 09:01

Never thought a dream has such an impact in someone's life until I read this review. Imagine filing for a divorce to follow two dreams! It must have been disappointing to read the book and discover that the description has been misleading. Fascinating review!

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Post by ea_anthony » 30 Sep 2018, 15:30

Wow! Actually this is a great review, it must have taken some introspection (I am settling for this for lack of a better word for now) to calmly put across such a scathing (this might not be the best word - I can see in other comments - candid and honest are used) review;but good job!
Apparently the author felt she had a story but probably didn't do a good job. Nonetheless we should (could?) comment her for the effort of putting pen to paper and getting published. hopefully she learns from this and puts out a better work.
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Post by Cecilia_L » 30 Sep 2018, 17:29

The hardest part for me while reading this novel was that I just could not identify with or sympathize with the author during her journey. While I understood why she didn’t want to be married any longer, I could not understand her actions after that. Some of her behaviors came across as selfish or obsessive and I could not understand her reactions in some situations. This made it really difficult for me to truly be invested in her journey.
I would have the same issues with this book. The title seems misleading to me. Thanks for your honest review.

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Post by Amanda Deck » 30 Sep 2018, 18:20

Thanks for the warning. With the word "Epic" used in the title, I certainly expected more than a woman breaking up her family to go find some other man. I assumed the dreams were, or would lead to, an epiphany that would be life changing and instructive to others. Doesn't sound like that's what happened so I'll look elsewhere.

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Post by Eva Darrington » 30 Sep 2018, 19:08

I enjoyed your review. It is so difficult to review a book you really dislike. I appreciate your analysis and can see why you weren't moved by the author's journey. It seems like the book was marketed inaccurately.
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Post by daydreaming reader » 30 Sep 2018, 19:20

Thank you for your concise and honest review. The structure of this book sounds confusing and I would also be unable to empathize with the author.
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Post by Caylie_Cat » 30 Sep 2018, 19:45

It is a shame when someone writes a book that is really a look into the mirror of narcissism. If a couple of dreams caused this woman to pull her marriage and family apart and wander about aimlessly in a spiritual wilderness, I'm not sure why she feels this journey would be of interest to anyone else. Or am I being too harsh?

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Post by 1ditzyrn » 01 Oct 2018, 12:21

jcoad wrote: ↑
30 Sep 2018, 08:01
Wow, sounds like a tough read. A true bait and switch on Spiritual Journey to Karaoke bars. I had to do a tough 1-star review and found myself writing it in my head about half way through. Thanks for your honest review!
It was a very difficult review to write, as I hate leaving a low score when someone has put their time and effort in to writing their story. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by 1ditzyrn » 01 Oct 2018, 12:23

Caylie_Cat wrote: ↑
30 Sep 2018, 19:45
It is a shame when someone writes a book that is really a look into the mirror of narcissism. If a couple of dreams caused this woman to pull her marriage and family apart and wander about aimlessly in a spiritual wilderness, I'm not sure why she feels this journey would be of interest to anyone else. Or am I being too harsh?
I think had there been more insight explained to the reader about why she felt these dreams constituted such a change and an in-depth look at how they affected her future choices perhaps I could have related a bit better. Thanks for your comments!

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Post by 1ditzyrn » 01 Oct 2018, 12:25

Eva Darrington wrote: ↑
30 Sep 2018, 19:08
I enjoyed your review. It is so difficult to review a book you really dislike. I appreciate your analysis and can see why you weren't moved by the author's journey. It seems like the book was marketed inaccurately.
I agree with the marketing aspect. It reads more like a memoir than a journey through her spiritual growth. Had I known that going in my expectations would have been different and i would have been prepared to read about such events. As it were, there was not enough detail in the story about her actual spiritual growth to support the write-up for the book and I was left feeling disappointed. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by 1ditzyrn » 01 Oct 2018, 12:30

ea_anthony wrote: ↑
30 Sep 2018, 15:30
Wow! Actually this is a great review, it must have taken some introspection (I am settling for this for lack of a better word for now) to calmly put across such a scathing (this might not be the best word - I can see in other comments - candid and honest are used) review;but good job!
Apparently the author felt she had a story but probably didn't do a good job. Nonetheless we should (could?) comment her for the effort of putting pen to paper and getting published. hopefully she learns from this and puts out a better work.
I do commend the author for her effort, as I feel it takes a lot to put your story out there. That's why this was one of the hardest reviews I have had to write, and I can only hope that it serves to help improve the novel or marketing of the novel in some way. Thanks for commenting!

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