Sunday, February 19, 2012

Is it all well with your soul? To find out, check out Well With My Soul, by Gregory G. Allen. Book review published in A&U Magazine

Is it all well with your soul? To find out, check out Well With My Soul, by Gregory G. Allen. Book review published in A&U Magazine.


Happy Sunday!

I'll keep this post short. I just want to share with everybody a book, a read I totally enjoyed.

The book is: Well With My Soul.
The author is: Gregory G. Allen
I had the honor to review it for A&U Magazine.

Check it out, below.

Thanks for visiting,
Alina Oswald
Author of Journeys Through Darkness



Well With My Soul
By Gregory G. Allen
Reviewed by Alina Oswald
Originally published in A&U Magazine--America's AIDS Magazine February, 2012


      “Is it all well with my soul?” is the question that comes to mind upon finishing Gregory G. Allen’s latest novel, Well With My Soul. Inspired in part by Horatio Spafford’s hymn with a similar name, Well With My Soul intrigues and surprises not only by the questions it forces us to answer, but mostly by the answers we reach and the journeys of self-discovery we have to embark on in order to find these answers. 
      In that sense Well With My Soul proves that sometimes it is, indeed, about the journey and not the destination; that life doesn’t play by the rules; and that, too often, unconventional elements define the reality surrounding us.


      Although a work of fiction, Well With My Soul addresses a side of reality, acknowledged only by few, through the story of two brothers and their entangled lives defined by concurring, contrasting elements—straight and gay; countryside and the Big Apple; the power of religion and its effects on everyday life; the choice of living life true to oneself or locked inside a closet—at the beginning of the AIDS pandemic.
      Choosing the time period was important, the author explains, to capture America’s transition from the liberal seventies to the conservative eighties and the onset of the AIDS pandemic and, with it, a different way of telling the story. Allen bring onstage a sometimes controversial, often less-acknowledged aspect of the pandemic, one that has transcended time to reach present day.
      It is precisely this controversial, unconventional element that makes Well With My Soul a compelling read. It's controversial in the sense that (without giving away the ending) the story offers a lesson: straight individuals can grow and change their negative views on gays while gay individuals might learn nothing and go backwards instead of forward. And Allen makes it possible because he’s not afraid of taking chances with his writing; because he believes it’s his responsibility, as a writer, to get readers to think about their own life choices and look within themselves to stay true to who they are and well with their souls.

8 comments:

  1. You are the best! Thank you for the review and for being a voice for the AIDS/HIV community.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much! Just trying to do my part.

    I absolutely LOVED your book and look forward to a sequel :-)

    Appreciate your support!
    Alina

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm officially intrigued. I know of Gregory, we're becoming acquainted on Twitter. I'm ashamed that I don't know more about this book (aside from the striking young man on the cover). As I get older, and my passions toward the GLBT community grow stronger, I'm finding it more necessary to read works that affect me as a gay individual. I'm putting this one on my list (sorry, Gregory, but it's a long list right now, but I WILL get to it!). :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Sean, Thanks so much for your post! I've been covering the community for about a decade now and met extraordinary individuals along the way. Greg's Well With My Soul is an awesome read. Keeps you guessing until the end. I find LGBT related books the most inspiring. I'm addicted :-)

    Thanks again!
    Alina

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you, Sean for adding it to your list. I've found quite a few that I have loved during the past 6-8 months by meeting people on twitter and getting recommendations.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Sean and Greg :-) Wonderful conversation.

    Totally appreciated :-) And, yes, I've met wonderful people on Twitter, too.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Twitter is awesome. I don't care what the naysayers say (that sounds odd!). I've been meeting some great people - like the two of you - and I'm overwhelmed by all the great books and stories everyone out there has for me to get my hands on!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Sean,

    Thanks for posting. And, yes, I do agree. I wasn't using Twitter too much at the beginning, but then I got hooked. I'm still learning how to use Social Media, in general.

    Appreciate it and wish you a great weekend!
    Alina

    ReplyDelete