[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Somewhere In A Rainbow" by Rasheedah Sharif.]
4 out of 4 stars
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Somewhere in a Rainbow is written by Rasheedah Sharif. The book is a true story of Rasheedah's life. It details the struggles, the abuse, and the heartbreak she has gone through. She discusses the details of her life with a therapist because the hopelessness she is feeling is becoming too much for her to deal with on her own.
Somewhere in a Rainbow is broken down into three parts. The first part of the book is the start of therapy. It provides the background to Rose's life and includes her therapist's evaluation. It gives the reader a firm foundation and inside look into all Rose has been through. The second part of the book is broken down into numerous therapy sessions. Rose discusses her life with her mom, about raising her babies, and about the abuse she has endured. She talks about how each of her children have shaped her into the person she is today and how they each have their own distinct personality. The third, and final, part of the book is all about healing. The author explains deep breathing meditation and color therapy she has used to help her on her healing path.
Readers looking for an inspirational story will enjoy reading this book. Those looking for more knowledge on healing after traumatic situations may also benefit from this book. Readers who have faced abuse in their lives may find this book to be very triggering. I would suggest those individuals only read the third section in the book. The third section is about healing and it could help trauma victims by providing them with an understanding of meditation. I believe based on the content of the book, it would be best suited for adult readers.
Somewhere in a Rainbow is a well-written, intriguing book. The author breaks down the book into three parts. I like how she broke down each section. The first part gives the background information that allows the reader to really connect with Rose. Some will feel they can relate to the abuse Rose endured through her life. It could be triggering for some abuse survivors so it would be a good idea to have a trigger warning noted at the beginning of the book. The second part of the book goes into more details of Rose's life. I particularly enjoyed reading about each of her children, why she picked their nicknames, and how each inspired her in their own ways. I found the last part of the book to be very educational. The author provides information on meditation and color therapy. I enjoyed being able to read about the different forms of therapy and being able to try them for myself. I like how the book is organized. It has a past, present, future feel to it and it shows the process of working through trauma while attending therapy. There is an overuse of swear words through the book. The swear words are the only part of the book I didn't care for, but I was able to overlook them because I became very into the story.
I rated this book 4 out of 4 stars. There were no errors. It appears to be professionally edited. The book is well-organized. It is easy to connect to the main character and sympathize with the trauma she has lived through. The author has provided great detail into all that has taken place, but also includes therapy techniques used to help trauma victims. I found this to be an excellent and helpful section to include in the book. Overall, this book was educational and enjoyable to read. I would read additional books by this author.
Somewhere In A Rainbow
‘Don’t Come Down From the Chinaberry Tree:’ A story of empowerment BY MARCY NORTHRUP PALMERI, Contributor ST. PETERSBURG —
Having earned a master’s degree in addiction counseling, advising women on the cycles of abuse and experiencing domestic violence firsthand, Rasheedah Sharif brings forth three decades of experience and a level of compassion that attracts people from all walks of life. Sharif is originally from New Jersey, but calls the Tampa Bay area her home. Among the many hats worn by this woman are author, artist, educator and motivational speaker. As an author, she reaches countless women through her book, “Don’t Come Down From the Chinaberry Tree,” which provides the readers with insight and a peek into her earlier life while guiding them toward a place in their own existence where they can find balance and inner strength. At 16 years old, the character in her book named Rose planned a pregnancy hoping to change the direction in which her life was headed. She and her 18- year-old boyfriend began a new adventure, but not the sort she had hoped for. The cycle of abuse began as he isolated her from family and friends, more children followed and so did the mental and ultimately physical abuse. The father of Rose’s children used them as leverage against her, torturing her soul. Finally after hitting rock bottom she decided enough was enough and broke the chain of violence. Rose got the authorities involved, and a little at a time began healing spiritually and emotionally. Rose is the name Sharif chose for the main character because as a child, amid the commotion in her own home, she would often peer out her bedroom window and see a woman selling roses. One day the woman knocked on her door and brought her several of the beautiful, fragrant flowers. Before that day, Sharif had not smiled for a very long time. She assumed the kind woman must have heard her screaming during the violent acts that often took place in her house and wanted to help in the only way she knew how. She said they built a distant relationship and the name Rose is symbolic and meaningful to her and has a special place in her life, and now in her book. When things got rough during Sharif’s childhood she would climb the chinaberry tree in her grandmother’s yard. The tree would offer her solace, comfort and safety. “I’d feel so content, so loved when I was up in that tree,” said Sharif. “Don’t Come Down From the Chinaberry Tree” is a series of 11 short stories based upon her life experiences. Sharif feels her book leads readers to think about their own lives. “Every teen or woman can find themselves in the stories to some degree,” she said. Her book promotes discussion and offers encouragement in the face of adversity. The message is one of strength as the main character overcomes the seemingly inescapable situation. “My book is an excellent tool to identify problems, to inspire and motivate teens and adults to make changes in their lives. I recommend that those in abusive situations talk to someone who can give insight or do it anonymously over the phone. Don’t feel embarrassed, ashamed or guilty. Tear down the walls,” Sharif stated. She went on to say that while teaching high school, students felt comfortable enough with her to reveal what had happen to them. “Oftentimes kids will act out on the surface, but inside they are wounded and bruised. They sometimes think if they talked about it they will be judged and I want to break down that barrier,” explained Sharif. Sharif offers classes on Thursdays from 11:15-12:15 p.m. at the Gulfport Recreation Center. Her classes focus on empowerment through color as she reviews 15 key topics. In this class you will learn the spiritual aspects of the color spectrum with art. “Don’t Come Down From the Chinaberry Tree,” is available through barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com for $15. Sharif is one of the featured authors at the Black Authors and Business Showcase Sat., Aug. 9 at the St. Petersburg Museum of History.
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