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Song of the Shaman by Annette Vendryes Leach

Song of the Shaman

by Annette Vendryes Leach

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I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this when I read the synopsis, but once I got into it, I had a hard time putting it down. It was a very unique story line about a boy who is in touch with his Shaman ancestors in spite of the fact that his mother was an orphan and did not know of this family history. The story unfolds as they discover the truth in the bizarre behaviors the boy exhibits and the strange stories he tells. ( )
  Lschwarzman | Jan 25, 2014 |
Written very well with just the right amount of everything. A story that touches you and evokes deeply set emotions as you embark on a journey you will not forget. Dynamic, resplendent and exquisite. I loved this story from the first page to the last. The pacing was nearly perfect right up to the very last words. Believable well fleshed out characters helped paint the scenes beautifully and weave the silky threads of their tales. ( )
  Jenn.S | Sep 25, 2013 |
From my book review blog at:


Via NetGalley, MindPress Media was kind enough to provide me with a copy of this book for the purpose of reading and reviewing it. While it was provided to me at no cost, I am under no obligation to give a positive review.

Sheri Lambert is a New York ad executive who was adopted as an infant following the death of her mother during childbirth. Being a strong single woman who just hasn’t found the right man yet, Sheri decides to become a single mother. Her son Zig soon becomes the center of her world, as you would expect.

But as Zig grows, more and more bizarre things happen. He seems to have an innate knowledge of Indian traditions of all sorts, his fascination coming through at home and at school, often at the most inopportune times. Even though Zig is an outstanding student, he is perceived by his private school administrators as being disruptive and likely ADHD.

Zig regularly demonstrates his knowledge of Indian culture, including music, art and even the language, speaking Spanish and a a native tongue fluently at age ten, even though he has been immersed in neither language. A mishap with a fellow student further focuses the attention on Zig and pressure on Sheri to set him right increases.

This story flips back and forth between modern New York, primarily 2006, and Panama and Costa Rica of 1899. The nineteenth century story tells of Benjamin grandson of an awa, a native shaman, who falls in love with Louise while caring for her ailing sister Maud. The relationship develops and continues in secret, finally coming to light and causing the friction one would expect with a mixed race relationship at that time.

As the story develops, we learn more about Sheri, who she is, and where she came from. We also learn how the two stories eventually meet up at the end of the novel.

Ultimately, this is a past-lives story full of romantic love as well as unconditional love, namely that of a mother for her son. While the reader is privy to most of the details of the story and can see where it’s going, leading to some predictability, it’s not all tied up in a semi-neat bow until the very end, which is very nice. There are a couple questions left unanswered, but they aren’t gaping holes by any means.

I really enjoyed this story, as it was well-paced and well-written. I certainly hope this novel brings success for Leach and she produces other books in the future. I would definitely like to check them out.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5) ( )
  KickinFamily | Sep 4, 2013 |
Song of the Shaman is a story of a single mum Sheri and her son Zig, a quirky kid whose memory appears to go back to long before he was born. Zig's odd memories and behaviour go largely unnoticed by Sheri until she loses her job and is around Zig much more, at which point she also begins to notice memories from another time. The story alternates from the present to the past and back again and initially takes a little mental checking. I don't know anything about Shamanism so I cannot account for the accuracy of those aspects of this story. But it peaked my interest and now I want to know more. A great first novel. I look forward to reading more from Annette Leach. ( )
  KerryMarsh | Aug 24, 2013 |
I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any form of compensation.

This was the first book that this author has had published. She has also had a short story published.

The timeline in this book goes back and forth between present day and the past. I loved being able to compare and contrast the modern world of today with the shamanic world of the past.

As my family's resident genealogist, I do have to say that you can learn alot about yourself and your parents by learning more about your ancestors. And it is through finding out about her ancestors that Sheri is truly able to discover herself.

I love how she found out about her ancestry though. I guess being a pagan and a Unitarian Universalist, I have a much more open mind when it comes to past lives and shamanism. The fact that these were featured prominently in this story was a huge bonus for me.

I feel that Annette really did a wonderful job on creating believable characters and a story line that truly engrossed me. ( )
  wakela | Aug 20, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 098949120X, Paperback)

What if your ten-year-old child knew more about your past than anyone in the world -- even you?  
Orphaned when her mother died in childbirth, Sheri Lambert is a lonely New York ad woman who decides to become a single mother. From the start, her son Zig displays strange behavior: He recalls people and places he couldn't possibly know and leads Sheri to a startling discovery of a hidden ancestry she never knew existed. 
From the urban grind of present-day Brooklyn to the shamans and rituals in the rain forests of 19th century Panama and Costa Rica, two interwoven stories collide. Sheri learns she must find the courage to trust Zig and his mystical guidance to uncover the secrets of her past...or remain lost from herself and the truth about her origins.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:27 -0400)

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