Dyed Souls by Gary Santorella is a classic in philosophical literature. A very touching 5 star, must-read story
Poor Charles! My motherly instincts wanted to wrap my arms around him and take care of him forever… and that is great writing! From the first page until the last Santorella invites us deep into the psyche of a troubled teenage boy. I wondered all the way through this book if it was the author’s own story because it reads much like an autobiographical novel, especially the last chapter. On reflection, I believe there is a mix of truth and fiction in this tale, whether that stems from personal knowledge in some way or from massive research doesn’t matter, was this truth – or very cleverly written fiction, does is make this a book that moved me and brought tears to my eyes.
With thoroughly compelling characters, and Gary Santorella’s eloquent and sensitive writing style you will find it hard to put this book out of your mind once you have put it down.
Charles is a recluse, retreating from his pain and loneliness into a world of books and internal dialogue. Abandoned, yet again, by his drug addicted mother, he tries to crawl into a shell of words and learning. Some parts of the story, Charles’ discoveries are very philosophical and deep as he struggles to understand what life is all about. There are a number of strong characters in the book. Margo, what a poor mixed up girl, yet his love of her helps to bring Charles out of isolation. Javier, was another strong teenager that helped to bring more depth and meaning into Charles life which encourages him to start really noticing his peers for the first time since arriving at the Residential Treatment Village.
The blurb does not carry a warning of rape content and I believe it should, this is a ‘trigger’ that some readers cannot read. That said, the very short scene is done simply without graphics, and is integral to the storyline.
There is one beautiful line in the book that for me sums up this emotional story… “The soul would have no rainbow, if the eyes had no tears.”
This novel is a moving, heart-felt masterpiece that deserves a place on your bookcase. Dyed Souls by Gary Santorella is highly recommended by Artisan Book Reviews.
Reviewed by TN Traynor for Artisan Book Reviews.
Chilll With a Book - Readers Award
Global Ebook Awards - YA Category Silver Winner 2018