Life Lessons From A Fiction Novel? Yes! (Book Review)

Among WomenAmong Women by J.M. Cornwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh Yes You Can Learn From A Fiction Novel ~ I Just Did

Among Women J.M. Cornwell

I have to say it’s been quite some time since I’ve been so personally pulled into a book that I literally felt as though I was experiencing every emotion, touch, sound, sight, taste, & smell as I did while reading this book. Naturally, those emotions & sensations were not always pleasant. However, the ability of Ms. Cornwell’s writing causing me to truly feel what the characters were feeling was definitely a pleasant surprise.

I did not, in any sense of the word, simply ‘read’ this book. I walked with Pearl on her journey–through the harrowing angst of uncertainty, the unexpected joys, the formation of friendships & adversaries alike, & ultimately through Pearl’s self-discovery. Pearl is simultaneously none of us & all of us. As I was, you will be stunned to discover that, more often than not, you can relate to Pearl on some level–most likely multiple levels. For instance, like Pearl, I generally have a tendency to find difficulty in truly bonding or getting along with & understanding other women. That’s merely one example–I don’t want to spoil the book–of Ms. Cornwell weaving the reader into the story.

Too often, we go about living our everyday ‘normal’ lives, comforting ourselves in the cozy blanket of a misguidedly reassuring “that will never happen to me” mentality whenever we hear of the goings-on of a sometimes corrupt justice system. Worse yet, we all too often find ourselves judging those who have been ‘in the system’ without ever actually knowing that person or their real story. Pearl teaches us that, at any given moment, our cozy blanket of ‘normalcy’ could be ripped away from us in the stroboscopic flash of blue & red lights coupled with the ratcheting sound of cold handcuffs digging brutally into our wrists for reasons that, even after being subjected to various forms of abject humiliation & terror, we may never even know. Like Pearl, we could just as easily become lost in the system–nothing more than another number in a vast sea of numbers–another human being to be judged by those who don’t even have the faintest clue of who we truly are.

There are valuable life lessons to be gained through reading this book with both an open heart & an open mind. One learns that behind every statistic, there is a story–a heartfelt tale that may force you to judge less harshly than you otherwise might have had you simply stumbled across someone’s prison record on the internet or on the news. One may ascertain that not only can you survive being thrust into what would seem to be the most dire of circumstances, but may also unearth a rare opportunity for the ultimate success of self-discovery–an opportunity you may never have known existed were it not for having been forced into such an adverse situation. One may never have known that such strength or talent existed within yourself, let alone have had the courage derived from absolute necessity to act upon it.

This is an excellent book which I wholeheartedly recommend with complete confidence that you will enjoy it as much as I did. I am eagerly anticipating the sequel.

I read this book on my Kindle. It is also available in other formats. The paperback & Kindle versions are available on Amazon: Among Women Other eBook formats are available at Smashwords: Among Women

View all my reviews

I’d like to personally thank Mary Ann Peden-Coviello for her constant posts on Facebook strongly urging people to read this book & for introducing me to Jackie, who graciously & unexpectedly slipped this book into my email inbox through Amazon. Both of these women have been such a help to my growth in writing by nudging me in the right direction when it seems that I’m needing it &, more importantly, by their friendship. I’m blessed to have both of these great women in my life thanks to the great big world of social media.

As always, your thoughts are appreciated. Blessed Be. ~ Cari ~


4 responses to “Life Lessons From A Fiction Novel? Yes! (Book Review)

  1. Well, I only shake the pom-poms for the good stuff. *big grin*

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the book and even more glad you wrote such a well thought-out review.

    • Thank you for shaking the pom-poms, Mary Ann. 😀

      Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the book, but I saw a lot of myself in Pearl. Why do I have a sneaking suspicion you knew that might happen? 😉 You & Jackie, through Pearl, have inspired me to push harder & dream bigger. I’m so grateful. I swear I must have written that review in my head 50 times if I wrote it once. I needed what I wrote to convey the deeper meaning of “Among Women” without giving away the entire story. I had to do the book justice.

  2. Good piece, Cari. Keep writing.

    • Thank you so very much for your encouragement, David. Your friendship is most appreciated. Wishing a wonderful weekend to you & yours. 😀

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