Darlene Manchester & Steven Manchester, editors,
Whispers of Inspiration
(Sunpiper, 2005)

Whispers of Inspiration, by Darlene Manchester and Steven Manchester, is an uplifting collection of spiritually oriented writings. Intended to be a compilation of today's finest writers and poets, authors of all levels were invited to share their tales and poems to illustrate the myriad aspects of the human condition, including love, family and hope. And while topics such as death, grief and loss are also explored, they are written of from a perspective of faith and acceptance that all but the most jaded of readers will be able to warm their hands in front of. Each respective section contains a mixture of prose and poetry, and though the reader is able to detect the better selections straight away, even the rougher contributions are enjoyable and have a positive message to convey.

And that's the point of this collection, really -- its positivity. Whispers of Inspiration is a great book for someone going through a difficult time in life, or a person seeking spiritual tales without being hit over the head with an overly religious message. It's even suitable for people who may have experienced something mystic that they cannot themselves categorize, because here they'll find comforting stories from others who have been down the same (or at least a similar) path.

But as for being a collection of today's finest writers and poets, Whispers of Inspiration, despite its uplifting positivity, falls just short of those aspirations because the editors seem to have based their inclusion criteria more on whether the content of the writing is positive and less upon the superior qualities of the writing itself. Nevertheless, Whispers of Inspiration is a lovely read, a book one can return to time and again for solace, encouragement and guidance.

review by
Jim Curtiss

11 August 2007

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