The Review by Liz Lane, short story author, Green Bay WI

Souls of a Feather

From the beginning of Charles Shirriff's second novel I felt as though I was amongst friends.  Few authors can blend religion, love, sexuality and deception into such a sweet and satisfying encounter. 

As the main character, Jay is the person most of us wish we could be.  He always does the right thing, has a never-ending stream of knowledge and manages to find strength from within.  From helping new acquaintances settle into Canadian residency to dealing with his girlfriend's deceptive father, Jay handles it all easily with a little help from his friends. 

Along the way the reader unknowingly absorbs lessons of different theologies and leaves you wanting to experience each and every one.  This novel is a pleasure in every way. 

Keep your pen handy Mr.Shirriff.  I'm eagerly awaiting the next novel.

Review of Souls of a Feather
10-14-2002 -- Fiction

"Souls of a Feather" by Charles W. Shirriff
Genre: fictional Biography

This is the story of a young man caught between his mother's native culture and the fast moving culture of his father for whom he has been searching.  He leaves his search and travels back to Winnipeg from California because his girlfriend, Sue, has had some sort of breakdown.  Her mother welcomes his help while her father tries to shut Jay out of her life.  Since nothing else seems to be helping, however, Sue's father allows Jay to see her. Jay takes her from the hospital and, with the help of his friends, her healing begins.  While modern psychiatry treatment had no effect, things he'd learned from his native American friends did work.

Set in Winnipeg, Canada, the author provides the reader with a contrast between cultures and clashes where their edges meet and merge.  As a child of both, Jay suffers from abandonment by both. This is a story of his search for a middle ground as  well as trying to help Sue find the stability she needs in her life.

An easy paced story, the author also introduces the reader to the age old conflict of the young versus the older generations, parent versus child, man versus boy.  It makes for an interesting and satisfying read.

Anne K. Edwards, eBook Reviews Weekly
Author of "Journey Into Terror"

Email from a reader in Texas -

Hi there,

I just spent the past two days reading your books, Spirits of a Feather,
and Souls of a Feather. I cannot possibly express how stunned I am by
them; they will leave a lasting impression, and I cannot help but to feel
that after reading them that I am somehow a better person.

I can only hope you are making this into a trilogy. There are unresolved
questions to which I need answers: does Phil manage to pull himself
together enough to go back to work? What happens to RB? What happens to Arrow? Does Jay's family move to town? And so on.



From Barnes and  review:
  I enjoyed Shirriff's first novel, 'Spirits of a Feather', so of course I had to buy this one. - - - The story follows two years in a young man's life as he helps his girlfriend regain her health. He encounters major problems with her father who tries an imaginative scheme to get rid of him. - - - Interwoven in this plot are personal and close-up looks at some of his spiritual options. Specifically, the First Nations (native) spirituality is followed through from the first book (Spirits of a Feather), the Baha'i Faith, the Hutterite lifestyle and a few other minor experiences. - - - The Hutterite and Baha'i sections were obviously carefully researched so that the tone and feeling of the faiths is meaningfully portrayed. - - - I was struck by the underlying similarity among all the religions, particularly Baha'i and Native sprirituality, and to discover that many of our aboriginal peoples follow the Baha'i Faith as well as their own spirituality. - - - It's a good story, even without the spiritual component. The style is easy to read and humorous in places. It isn't until you have finished the book that you realize you have learned a lot about other people and their spiritual growth. - - - I feel I am a more tolerant and accepting person from having read this book.