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Rated 5 of 5 stars

Kenn Bivins’ heartfelt novel introducing the illustrious Felona Mabel is a poetic, character-driven work that takes you on a whirlwind of emotion. I had the pleasure of meeting this writer at an event and felt drawn to his positive spirit and his artistic book cover. There were many things to love in this book. I’ll start with the style of writing. Bivins has a smart, concise and poetic blend in his storytelling. I enjoyed the analogies used and they didn’t seem too far fetched (which authors tend to do when they feel the need to end a chapter with a cliffhanger). Furthermore, I received the paperback and found it to be beautifully engineered throughout from texture of pages to interior design (might I add that the author designed his own cover and interior?! Amazing!).

The story alights with Felona Mabel as an adult who is soon to wed her beau, Vicenzo (an Italian, macho man with slightly chauvinistic qualities). During this seemingly blissful existence, as a reader you sense there is a powerful undercurrent to Felona. Felona gets news that her estranged mother whom she hates with a passion is dying. She rushes to make the arrangements but in her homecoming starts to bubble up emotions and secrets from her past that she only prayed to forget. The story takes you on a journey of one woman’s survival with very intense issues like rape, abortion, motherly love (or lack thereof) and the effects of trauma on women and children. I was enthralled throughout the book, whizzing through pages in the hopes of getting to the bottom of Felona’s issues. It amazes me that the author was a man, who had not gone through any of the topics in the book but wrote them so honestly. That’s the mark of a true talent. One that transcends gender and makes the reader feel…something. I’ll likely read this book again because there were a few subliminal messages that I caught and I’m sure there were some that I didn’t. Thoroughly enjoyed.

Raging Book Reviews Highly Recommended

*This book was gifted by the author for an honest review.

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