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When We Return

When We Return by Eliana Tobias is a heartfelt and satisfying historical novel that seamlessly follows two different countries and timelines. We follow Jerry, who uncovers a shocking secret that his father has been keeping. Unable to ask his father the truth because he passed away, Jerry begins to question if he really knew who his father was.

The story shifts to Otilia, who, after being separated from her son for 20yrs due to a civil war, she is now awaiting a hearing for compensation from the government. The story’s direction shifts to Salvador, Otilia’s son, as he is on a mission to understand what happened to his parents after they were separated. Jerry, Otilia, and Salvador’s storylines combine into one story where they team together to overcome several obstacles and uncover hidden truths. They try their best to help one another leave the past behind through love and friendship.

Author Eliana Tobias has written a historical and cultural masterpiece filled with drama and tension, making this one read that you must finish. The author expertly transitions from one character to the next without confusing the reader. I enjoyed that the author starts out by giving the reader a little bit of Jerry, Otilia, and Salvador’s background allowing the reader to get to know them.

From the turn of the first page, drama ensues, and you are immediately invested in their lives. You don’t expect each of the characters to cross paths until they actually do, and you realize that the author has intertwined their stories smoothly and seamlessly. The story is filled with a rich history that adds context to the story and the character’s motives. I enjoyed reading about all the characters, and it was hard not to like and sympathize with them. We learn of a man named Milan and later find that his backstory relates to Jerry. This just shows how powerful of a writer Eliana is. The story’s pace moved smoothly, and I was never lost or confused about what was going on.

When We Return is an excellent read for those who are history buffs but also for those who like heartwarming stories. I look forward to reading more from this author!

Pages: 297 | ASIN : B09ZBN14ML

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Healing Yesterday’s Tears

Author Kyli Santiago’s life is one from which we can all learn. Fortunately, she has shared much of her experience with readers in the form of poetry. Santiago’s poems cover every topic, from depression to single motherhood. Within Santiago’s work, there is a prominent theme of overcoming adversity and bouncing back time and time again from situations that would break the strongest among us.

Healing Yesterday’s Tears, by Kyli Santiago, is eye-opening on many levels. First, I appreciated the real and raw emotions conveyed through her verse. Reading Santiago’s poetry is like looking through the window to her soul. Second, I found her words to be powerful and moving. The poems addressing depression explore truly dark and hurtful places, but Santiago always manages to show readers her own path toward hope. Many readers who are seeking words of encouragement will find her work difficult to read but inspiring all the same.

There is no better place to find a shining example of self-discovery than Santiago’s work. She leaves nothing to the imagination and provides highly relatable situations, including deception in relationships and sexually violent experiences. Her work gives hope to readers and shows them that the most adverse conditions can be overcome.

Santiago always leaves readers feeling strengthened and emboldened to meet obstacles head-on. I highly recommend Santiago’s work to anyone looking for the inspiration to love themselves again. Readers will appreciate the openness displayed in Santiago’s work. Learning through adversity is one of the most challenging processes, but Santiago has mastered it–we are fortunate she has been led to share her experiences with the world.

Healing Yesterday’s Tears: An Inspiring Poetry Book about Overcoming Emotion and Discovering Love of Self is a beautifully written book of poetry that contains some triggering situations related to suicide and intimate relationships, but each poem paves a path filled with strength and hope for readers.

Pages: 77 | ASIN : B09GNTJGKX

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The Cool and Warmth of Hearts

Dating back to the inception of the written word, there has been no shortage of lines put to paper on the subject of love. Whether it’s romantic, unrequited, soul-crushing, or life sustaining, writers and poets have explored the emotion endlessly in an attempt to capture its nature and explain why it moves us as much as it does. In The Cool and Warmth of Hearts, poet J.A. Santana adds his own unique voice to the conversation in a collection that covers many kinds of love experienced within a lifetime. 

One of the most interesting things about the subject of love is that there is no shortage of writing on the subject. Santana pays homage to those great voices that came before him by invoking the names in classic literature most closely associated with romance, both the writers and the characters. As he weaves his way through all the stages of love, Santana’s narrative tells a distinct story, putting to words thoughts and feelings anyone with any life experience has had. We travel along with the narrator as he navigates all the highs and lows to be found in love, even dwelling a short while on life itself and the rapturous feeling associated with simply being. 

Santana’s poems follow a mostly uniform style and tone, often employing a rhyming scheme that makes them read as lyrical and rhythmic. I felt at times the use of rhyme seemed forced in certain spots, however, it still works well, flowing in a way that makes them read smoothly. One of the highlights of this collection is the inclusion of multiple versions of the same poem, which happens several times throughout. It’s a unique glimpse into the creative process and one that should be especially of interest to fellow writers who understand all too well how difficult it can be to choose the “perfect” word or phrase. By the time Santana rounds out his collection with a poem appropriately titled “Twilight,” he has touched every stage of love and loving with intense imagery and emotion.

The Cool and Warmth of Hearts explores and describes love in ways that are almost other-worldly at times but always authentic in its expression, leaving the reader thinking about the poems long after putting the book down.

Pages: 123 | ASIN : B09QXSTRXQ

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