Indies Rock Review: The Valley of Silent People by Greg M. Sarwa

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Today I am pleased to present The Valley of Silent People by Greg M. Sarwa

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The Valley of Silent People
Greg M. Sarwa
Literary Fiction
Ampol Publishing
318 Pages
Paperback and eBook
ISBN:  978-0615707389
Stars:  4
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About the Book:

Based on the legend of Saint Sara, who with Mary Magdalene arrived at the shores of the French Riviera after Christ crucifixion, “The Valley of Silent People” is an allegory about gaining faith and trust that even the most unexpected and radical discovery has no power to overcome. Though unrecognized as a saint by the Catholic Church, Saint Sara remains one in the hearts of people, especially Roms, who designate her as their patron. Controversy still swirls over whether Sara was Mary Magdalene’s and Jesus Christ’s daughter or simply a servant, fascinating millions of readers around the world.

Joe Clatt’s content and uncomplicated life is shattered one evening, when an atrocious accident claims the life of his wife and leaves his only child in a deathly coma. Joe discovers a letter his wife wrote not long before her death, suggesting she anticipated such destiny. Her last wish is for Joe to visit an inconspicuous place located on the other side of the ocean.

Against his better judgment, Joe arrives in a distant village on the French Cote d’Azur. The night, after the festival honoring Saint Sara, he meets one person he was certain he would never see again. Guided by his heart he finds himself embraced as a participant in a remarkable journey, no longer a mere spectator.

While Joe struggles to uncover reasons why his wife’s final wish led him to France, he experiences phenomenal events—occurrences, he believes, grant confidence that his daughter will survive.

Are these revelations the answers Joe seeks, or is something else veiled in the mists of time?

Book Review:

While the description revels in the allegorical ties to ancient religious icons, this was a book that was easy to get lost in, to feel the emotions with Joe as he follows a path set out by his wife in a letter discovered shortly after her death.   The letter, and the subsequent travel to the Cote d’Azur to follow her wishes lead Joe into a strange mix of fantasy and reality, where questions answered only spur the growth of more questions and require him to find a faith in answers that have no basis in logic.

When we are told not to judge books by their covers, it holds doubly so for Joe: with a reasonably mundane job and an easy-going manner, the depth and breadth of his emotional life and ability to express his emotions far outweigh the façade he presents to the rest of the world.  His grief and anger at the world and the unknown is apparent and palpable.  His refusal to take any answer on faith, and keep digging for some logical explanations, even when there are none readily apparent had me slightly frustrated, but that was the point.  He had lost his love and his faith, and this proscribed journey was to provide him with a better understanding of his love, and the ability to reach to faith.  While the book didn’t present to me as particularly preachy, as it is truly voiced as Joe’s perspective on the trip and the people he encounters, there are enough additional elements for a more religious minded reader to apply their own interpretations.

While you may not be drawn to a book that is essentially a travelogue through the grief process as one discovers the hidden depths of the recently departed, this book is the perfect mix of emotion and legend, travel and quiet reflection that will spur thought as the book concludes.  A lovely story that will keep a reader intrigued learning and thinking as they read the passages within.

I received an eBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review for my Indie Authors Rock promotion on I am, Indeed. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.

 

About the Author:

Greg M. Sarwa is a native of Chrzanow, Poland. After graduating from high school, he entered the Academy of Mining and Metallurgy College in Krakow, Poland to pursue a Geology degree.

While still in college, he married his childhood sweetheart and shortly after, they immigrated to the United States in a search of a new beginning and to start a new life.

After many different jobs, Greg realized that his biggest passion was writing. His observations of the surrounding world and of human nature have nourished him for this writing journey, where not to his surprise some of his fictitious ideas become reality.

With his wife and two daughters, he resides in Illinois.

ForeWord Magazine has awarded the 2005 Book of the Year Bronze Medal in Science Fiction to Greg’s first book entitled The Cattle. His second book, If only I could… has been named a runner-up in USA Book News National “Best Books of 2007” Awards in Fiction and Literature in the  Romance category.

Find Greg at:   Facebook  §  Goodreads  §  Website

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