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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » When the Shadows Began to Dance by Yamaya Cruz » User review

This book makes me think about what it means to be mentally and spiritually healthy.

  • Nov 18, 2011
Rating:
+5

When The Shadows Began To Dance links the themes of mental health and religion together. This book makes me think about what it means to be mentally and spiiritually healthy. The religion that Yamaya Cruz discusses in this book is the Yoruba religion. This is the religion of the people of Nigeria and other parts of southern Africa. The presence of  divinities is a major belief of the Yoruba religion.  They are called orishas.  Each orisha has a special ability. I found it interesting  reading about an orisha named Oshun.  She is a female divinity who possesses the ability to cure people with water.  The mental illness discussed in this book is schizophrenia.  Cruz believes that having a spiritual connection in the yoruba faith can improve the symptoms of schizophrenia is a concept that is interesting to me. I found myself totally immersed in the life of Nelly Reyes.  She struggles with mental illness, physical abuse and homelessness in this novel.  Nelly is a victim of all these things at the beginning of the book.  She is a completely different person at the end of the book. The strength of her faith helps her transcend her schizophrenia. This novel is fictional, but I found the evolution of Nelly's character to be amazing and appealing. 

 Cruz puts a new spin on the concept of heaven. She defines heaven as a state of peace that comes from within a person.  It is not a place that people go when they die.  I believe that heaven is both a place and an inner feeling of peace.  Her emphasis on eliminating the negative energy in life is something I strive to do to achieve happiness.  Cruz's ideas of religion makes me reflect on what I believe personally. When The Shadows Began To Dance is an entertaining novel.  It helps me to reflect on my thoughts about religion and mental health.

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More When the Shadows Began to Danc... reviews
review by . October 30, 2011
Coping Mechanisms
The major theme of  When The Shadows Began To Dance    by Yamaya Cruz involves how a teenage lady can internalize   coping mechanisms to deal with a seemingly hopeless situation.      The story commences with arguments in a   household partially disheveled. Both parents   seem to be in a painful relationship evidenced   by mom's chain-smoking. Nelly is a teen being   cared for by a local mental health clinic.   …
About the reviewer
Robert Yokoyama ()
Ranked #39
I love to read new books and talk about them. I also like to listen to different kinds of music and talk about that. I am a friendly guy who likes to meet new people. I love to read books that teach me … more
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