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July 5, 2013

SHADOWED SOUL by John M. Spagnoli

by John M. Spagnoli                                                        4 STARS
with Stephen McCallum

 Shadowed Soul by John M. Spagnoli is a fiction novel about bi-polar Thomas Milton, as he struggles to rebuild his life with the aid of his blind wife’s seeing-eye dog, Bailey. The compelling drama follows Thomas and his wife, Beth, as they embrace and endure the birth of their firstborn through the holiday season in New York City. Fears and anxieties that plague Thomas are personified in the form of the Shadowed Soul a demonic specter who stalks the protagonist’s every move. As his manic-depression escalates, his expectation for more problems is answered in abundance. His life goes from great to bad to worse. With the unconditional love of watchful Bailey, Thomas grapples with seemingly insurmountable challenges as he chooses to rebuild his shattered life. Much of the journey through manic-depression is autobiographical, with the exception of the main character’s online pornography addiction and the demise of certain relatives. Set in the present, Spagnoli’s intention is to depict clinical depression in a way that provides a clear road map to leading a full life

 Thomas Milton and his wife, Beth, their dog, Bailey are the main characters.  Thomas is bi-polar, Beth is blind and Bailey is a seeing eye dog.  Thomas and Beth are about to add to their family, a baby is on the way.

After the baby is born, Beth and the baby move in with her parents for a while.  This leaves Thomas and Bailey to get by on their own.  Thomas starts to spiral.  He is hearing his
"shadowed soul" and that spells trouble.  He has also started entertaining porn.  The book was a well written and it appears a lot of thought went into it.  Writing about bi-polar disease is a hard thing to tackle.  The author, creates a bond with the reader and Thomas.  Thomas was into hard core porn, and you feel for Thomas.  It might be an uncomfortable feeling but you can see the need for Thomas to do this. The 'shadowed soul' was evil. You have to dig deep to try to understand what these people have to deal with.  These people can be very productive people, such as the author.  They can lead a normal life and and do great things.  Sometimes I feel we need to reflect.  People have real afflictions and problems that we may know nothing about.  We need to be a little more considerate of other people. There are many manic-depressives that learn how to live a good normal life.  As with any physical or mental problem, I feel you have to face it head on and deal with it no matter what that entails. Bravo to the author for the courage to write this informative and interesting book.

I would give this book 4 STARS.

I was given a complimentary copy of SHADOWED SOUL by the author, John M. Spagnoli for this unbiased review.


About John M. Spagnoli
John M. Spagnoli is the author of Shadowed Soul and How to Grow Worsleya Seeds. Avid gardener, poet, husband and father, he hales from Metropolitan New York and is currently working on a Masters from Mercy College and holds a B.A. in Anthropology from State University of New York, New Paltz.

As a successful, self-managing, bi-polar gentleman the author found solutions that have enabled him to form strategies toward leading a joyful life which he has chosen to share in Shadowed Soul. Dedicated to raising awareness about depression, Shadowed Soul is the first in a fictionalized series that includes researched cases of manic-depressives who beat it, as well as some of the author’s personal experiences.


1 comment:

John Spagnoli said...

Thank you for reviewing my book. I appreciate the time and effort put into the review. I feel it is a very good book well worth a read. Anyone that has been depressed can relate to this book. I tried to portray Bi-Polar disorder in a way not done before in literature. Thanks for the review.