3 out of 4 stars
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Searching for Oz is a fictional story that’s synonymous with the children’s novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It was penned by Adele Saccarelli-Cavallaro and Michael Cavallaro. Adele is the founder of a non-profit organization that helps people become free-thinking, creative, and self-directed individuals. Michael is an international speaker, mentor, and founder of a company that specializes in human cosmology.
This book tells the tale of a recently divorced woman named Dottie. She’s misguided and mentally challenged, but she really wants to get her life together. She reunites with three of her schoolmates: Leo, Brian, and Tim. All of them had been difficult children at St. Daniel’s School. Coincidentally, she also encounters her seventh-grade teacher, Mr. Marvel. At first, she’s insulted when he tells her that she is not well. Later, she realizes that Mr. Marvel has been helping Leo, Brian, and Tim understand their beliefs, heal their emotional traumas, regain their courage, and change their ways of thinking. Through a series of memories, dreams, conversations with her friends, and regular sessions with Mr. Marvel, Dottie unravels painful truths about her life, including abuse, harmful religious beliefs, and dysfunctional family patterns. Sadly, these factors had contributed to her poor mental state. Will Dottie ever be whole again? Can she work through a lifetime of past problems, learn to love herself, help her children, and land the man of her dreams?
I’ve read many self-help books, but this is the first time that I encountered one that’s written like a story. I liked how Dottie’s friends embodied the scarecrow, the lion, and the tin woodsman in realistic ways. Leo was similar to the lion because he needed to face his fears. Tim was like the woodsman who lacked a heart because he struggled to express himself emotionally. Free-spirited and insecure due to his family’s hippie lifestyle, Brian was like the scarecrow that lacked a brain. Many other details from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz were present throughout this book. I really enjoyed how the authors merged these details.
At first, I didn’t like a couple of things. In the beginning, Dottie wasn’t a likable character. She was silly and confused, like a child in an adult’s body. Additionally, the conversations that Dottie had with her schoolmates didn’t seem genuine. They were one-sided discourses about deconstructing beliefs, finding mental patterns, and noticing harmful behaviors. Most of the time, they spoke while Dottie listened. I felt like I was forced to sit down and listen too. Despite how these topics were presented, they helped me to understand Dottie’s problems that were revealed later in the book. As she began to get help for her issues, she became more sensible and likable. I admired the way that her character developed over time.
When Dottie started having sessions with Mr. Marvel, the pace of the story quickened. I became intrigued by Mr. Marvel. His mysteriousness never faltered throughout the book. He seemed to have a vague magical quality about him. He never denied being in Dottie’s dreams. He also spoke about spirit guides, aliens, and past lives. Most importantly, he helped Dottie find the root causes of her problems. I liked analyzing Dottie’s life with Mr. Marvel’s guidance because it made me reflect on my own belief systems, fears, and behaviors.
I would have liked to award this book a perfect rating. However, I don’t think it was professionally edited because many grammatical errors are present. I rate it 3 out of 4. Searching for Oz will appeal to adults who are serious about personal growth. People who have had a difficult childhood may benefit from reading this book. But, potential readers should be aware of the sensitive themes in this book, such as sexual abuse, child molestation, grooming, religious conditioning, and emotional trauma.
Searching For Oz (n
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