Reviews of my book

I have Cover - thumbnailopened up a new tab on this website which will show a cumulative collection of reviews and feedback on my book, Finding My Invincible Summer. As I update the Review tab, I will copy the new entries into my blog here. Today I posted the first three reviews that appeared on amazon.com–all of them five stars. Two lines stood out and rang in my head for days:

“I found this to be one of the best memoirs I have ever read.”

“This book grabs you by the soul and doesn’t let you go.”

Here are the reviews.

Absolutely riveting! Just finished reading it five minutes ago

By J. Kaplan

In order for a memoir to capture my attention, I must love the voice of the writer and be made to care enough to travel the entire distance with them as they tell their life story. This happens when the writer is exposing their vulnerabilities honestly and the story itself is also utterly compelling. With Finding My Invincible Summer, not only did the author take you into her completely confidence but the story was so intense and relatable that I could not put it down. During a week of reading where there were many other distractions in my life and in the greater world, I kept yearning to return to this quiet, deeply involving and highly personal story, even as difficult and painful as that life was in parts. Ultimately, the reader is given their own sense of possibilities – that there are indeed attainable solutions to even the most difficult of life’s problems. I found this to be one of the best memoirs I have ever read – and I am a tough critic of memoirs. I recommend sitting in front of the fire and taking some quiet time with this book and you will indeed be rewarded.

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Soon afterwards came the following review on Amazon by a colleague in the translation community:

Absolutely marvelous. Read this memoir!
By JuliaA
I bought this memoir by Muriel Vasconcellos (whose work I knew only as a translator) in mid-December and was unable to put it down until I finished reading it, literally pushing my Christmas shopping by a few days. This book grabs you by the soul and doesn’t let you go. The author describes the suffering inflicted by cancer, shares intimate details of the amazing love story with her Brazilian soul mate, and talks of love and loss and her endless attempts at finding physical and emotional balance and peace, which she finally achieves. As a reader, I was in awe of Muriel’s honesty and gained more and more respect for her as the pages progressed. I could sense that digging this deep inside herself must have been agonizing and yet what a liberating experience! You literally see her grow as a human being and you grow along with her. Highly recommended!

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Another Amazon review from around the same time was by a translator I met online, who also published a longer write-up on her blog, www.goldsmithtranslations.com.

A compelling read about love, cancer and alternative therapies

By Emma Goldsmith

Muriel Vasconcellos’ memoir takes the reader on a journey through her life, focusing on how she came to terms with breast cancer, her encounters with conventional treatment in the late 1970s and her search for alternative therapies. She also gives vivid accounts of life-changing events and how she manages to study and work as a translator in seemingly impossible circumstances.

I avidly read “Finding My Invincible Summer” over the course of several evenings, and in the daytime my mind was full of her flashbacks and experiences. It’s definitely worth reading if you’re interested in alternative medicine, translation, medical practice in the 1970s and 80s, or cross-cultural relationships (Brazilian/American in this case).

(The book is available in softcover, hardcover, and eBook format through all online booksellers, including www.amazon.com and my publisher’s site, www.balboapress.com.)

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