Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Louis White
Illustrator: Damon Taylor
Publisher: White Knight Publishing
“You have reached the crossroads. You can continue to be caught up in the world that can make you fundamentally unhappy with all its greed, neediness, demands and shallowness, or you can simply start your life again by exiting from your past and moving forward,” Louis White writes in his novella, Sandcastles.
At ninety-six pages, the short paperback targets young adults looking for a fanciful fiction on how to understand life with the help of a flock of birds. Not containing profanity, violence, or sexual scenes, adult situations involving making love may not be appropriate for immature readers.
With no author or illustrator biographies, the story concludes with twenty-plus pages of the beginning of another book by the author. The half to full page colored illustrations are sometimes simplistic and lack detail.
In this short tale, eight days are covered in the life of Lisa-Mae. The young female adult is addicted to her cellphone, obsessed with working, and avoids deep personal relationships. When a beautiful but silent Rainbow Lorikeet bird catches her attention, she follows it, captivated by its vibrant colors.
The bird takes her to a secluded beach where she meets a young boy building a sandcastle with many different rooms. When Lisa-Mae peers inside each room’s windows, she is shown the past, present, and future of her life, challenging her to change for the better.
With the aid of a Noisy Milner, the Yellow Robin, the Satin Bowerbird, a Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, two Grey Butcherbirds, and the New Holland Honeyeater, the girl learns she has forgotten how to act childlike, enjoy the simple life of animals, show enthusiasm of youth, stop abuse of her body, remember the good memories, and let go of the past to move forward with her life.
As each day passes with a special bird escorting her to a new understanding, she has to decide if shedding the past will make her content and happy. With little reference to God but the guidance of feathered friends, the protagonist’s journey, especially when it involves a new lover, leads to happily-ever-after. Although real life has twists and turns, this fictional tale may give hope to some readers trying to forget the past.
Thanks to Jenkins Group Inc. for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.