Sunday, July 15, 2007

Waking Spirit - An Inspiring, Uplifting Mix of Boldness and Courage

4/5 Stars

Waking Spirit: Prose & Poems the Spirit Sings
by Shirley Cheng
ISBN: 9780615136806
May 6, 2007
Trade paperback; 144 pages; $14.97

Waking Spirit: Prose & Poems the Spirit Sings is an emotional journey into the heart of a young woman who has faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles, yet has risen far above them in courage and perseverance. A combination of thoughtful, emotional prose, sweet poetry and spirited haiku, this book can’t help but make the reader feel powerful.

Waking Spirit begins with a foreword by Cynthia Brian, a New York Times bestselling author who met Shirley during a radio interview. It then takes you through a delightful concoction of stories and poetry, interspersed with “A Moment with Shirley”―an inspirational message for the reader.

I was drawn to the stories most of all, to that rare insight into the mind of an author who “dances” with joy in her heart. The stories of her relationship with her mother are compelling, although I know that they suffered many tragedies together and were separated for lengths of time by government policy. But they have conquered all! And that is what this book is really about. Conquering disease and not allowing it to hold you back. Overcoming obstacles of every shape and form so that one can reach his or her dreams.

Certainly each of us could learn from Shirley Cheng, a young woman who is blind and suffers from severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. She may be confined to a wheelchair in body, but her spirit soars far above, free and unhindered by negativity or pain. I have had the honor of calling her a friend for a number of years, and although we have never met in person, she has truly touched my life by her old-soul wisdom, which is far beyond her years. Shirley Cheng has delivered another work that is sure to inspire all ages, nationalities, whether abled, disabled or ultra-abled. I recommend Waking Spirit for anyone who needs a boost of encouragement or hope.

~ Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a freelance journalist, book reviewer and the author of three mystery novels set in Canada―Divine Intervention, The River and the bestselling novel Whale Song.

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