Official Review: In and out of Madness by Donna Reynolds

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Official Review: In and out of Madness by Donna Reynolds

Post by Monet_va » 13 Aug 2019, 06:35

[Following is an official review of "In and out of Madness" by Donna Reynolds.]
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1 out of 4 stars
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Donna Reynolds wrote In and Out of Madness throughout a period of personal healing. Based off of her experiences of molestation, P.T.S.D. and alcoholism, this book is a collection of her thoughts and advice as she overcomes the obstacles that life has thrown at her with the help of her religion.

At first, I picked up this book with the impression that it would be a tale of the author’s abuse and how she overcame these tragedies by finding God and through therapy. Sexual abuse is not a topic often discussed in the literary world, and a book like this could potentially help other victims through their suffering and lead them towards a path of healing. However, once I began reading this story, I found that this was not that kind of book.

The pieces in this book are structured more in the form of poems and short stories rather than a story of her life. Usually, I love reading poetry, especially about more serious topics such as this. But the message that the author is trying to communicate is unclear. Without having read the synopsis of the book beforehand, I would not have understood what this book is about. Which is unfortunate, because this is a topic often not addressed in literature and I was eager to see someone explore it.

A short story towards the end of the book shows how much the author has learned about herself and learned through the awful experiences that she has endured. If more of the book had been like this, then it would have been a much more enjoyable read.

There were a few grammar and spelling mistakes, but it did not hinder my reading experience at all. The bigger issue was the way that the poems were structured. I found them to be messy and have little structure to them at all. Some words were capitalized for emphasis, but when this happens several times per paragraph, it distracts the reader and pulls them out of the story. Because of these two points, it appears that this book was not edited well.

I rate this book 1 out of 4 stars because of how difficult it was to follow the author's thoughts, and how distracting the lack of editing was. I would not recommend this book to anyone. It felt like the author wrote it more for personal outlet rather than to create something that someone else might read. If the author had given this to other people and an editor before publishing, then this could have potentially been a very valuable and thought-provoking read.

In and out of Madness
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Post by Michelle Fred » 14 Aug 2019, 07:16

Clearly the author has a message she is trying to pass, it's unfortunate the medium is shoddy. I do hope she does better next time.

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

It's too bad that the message was so poorly communicated; it could have been quite an inspirational book, but it missed the mark. Thank you for your honest review!

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Post by OuKoyoo » 14 Aug 2019, 11:30

It is unfortunate that the author could not effectively put across the critical message due to many mistakes. I hope the issues will be addressed in the next publication.

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Post by kandscreeley » 14 Aug 2019, 20:15

It's too bad that this one didn't work out there way the author intended. It's a subject that needs to be discussed more. Hopefully the author can do some revisions. Thanks.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
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Post by MatereF » 15 Aug 2019, 15:13

Is there a possibility that the author could still be dealing with the issues that affected her hence she was unable to fully tell the story in a clear way? I hope she does a revision of the book and tells her story the way it should be told. Thanks for such a honest review.
"The courage to imagine the otherwise is our greatest resource". Daniel J Boorstin

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Post by Aditi Sapate » 16 Aug 2019, 03:15

I really like the idea of writing this book in poetry format. It's a bummer that the author couldn't pull it off. It would have been a great combination to have a topic that's relatively brushed aside to be written in a creative way. Anyway, thanks for you review!

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Post by owachtel » 16 Aug 2019, 16:15

It really is sad that the author wasn't able to communicate her message very well, especially when she has such an important theme to convey.

I appreciate that you mentioned that the author used the book more as an outlet for personal processing than as a book for others to understand. Hopefully as the author grows and heals, she'll be able to write more poetry/ stories that help others process too.

Thanks so much for the honest review!

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