Monday, May 24, 2010

"Breaking Into Soul" -- A Book Review

Book Review: Breaking Into Soul, by Tonya Scott Wyandon

Blossom Sterling is a young girl living in the Deep South. At first glimpse, her life appears ordinary and her story typical of girls her own age, but Blossom is different – since a very young age, she has experienced the gift of sight.

Her higher sensitivity and sense of compassion propel Blossom toward connecting with other young girls who are not as fortunate as she is, and encourage her to open her heart to them in an attempt to make them feel included and loved despite their unique backgrounds. Her closest friend, Tina, the daughter of a single, over-worked, and overwhelmed mother, is often shunned by other children, but Blossom makes it her mission to reach out to her, and to ensure Tina is kept safe and happy. It is in part because of her relationship with Tina that Blossom’s inner growth is expedited.

Tina is not the only outcast Blossom reaches out to – during a visit to her grandparents in Bayou Sara, Blossom meets Soul, a young Native-American girl of approximately her age. Through Soul’s words, Blossom is thrust into a world so far unknown to her, and her perception is greatly enriched by this unlikely connection. Soon, Blossom and Soul find that no matter what their obvious differences are, a deeper part of their beings is connected by a very special gift.

Breaking into Soul is a priceless document of life in the south, and it leads the reader to explore thought-provoking concepts processed through the eyes and mind of a young girl caught in the midst of socio-cultural differences. The references to Native-American traditions are detailed and fascinating, and I feel I have walked away from the story with a greater understanding of a culture I wasn’t too familiar with.