First Professional Review: The Shade Under the Mango Tree

Here’s the first professional review of my latest book by Self-Publishing Review, cross-posted on the Independent Review of Books. The book will be free for the next two days: November 17 and 18. Get your free copy. And if you feel like it, please consider leaving a review.

The Shade Under the Mango Tree by Evy Journey is a dazzling, globe-spanning tale of two interconnected lives, bound in an unlikely way, but forever changed by the connection.

From a simple lost notebook comes an unusual storybook romance, a tale of growing up and seeing the world, of saying goodbye and remembering lost things. Luna and Lucien are the star-crossed protagonists whose lives are dissected with intimate, in-depth character studies, making their unpredictable bond a pleasure to unravel.

Lucien’s discovery of Luna’s journal, and the eventual crossing of their paths, feels like the plot of a familiar romance, but this story is far more complex. The introduction provides a grim vision of Luna’s future, and the rest of the book plots the inevitable course leading back to that point. In a beautiful way, the story explores how powerful connections can be born at a distance, across time and space, without any expectation or hope, yet still change a person’s life.

The temporal flexibility of the prose gives readers a complete perspective in a more interesting way than a basic memoir or collection of journal entries. Granted, some of the journal passages read more like functional prose than personal reflections that might be found in a diary, but this is a small conceit – the storyline is rich and vulnerable, with authentic emotional struggles and believable relationships. Throughout, simple, evocative language and bold descriptions are intermingled with flashes of poetic imagery.

Aided by strong thematic undertones, subtle symbolism, high stakes and an ultimately hopeful narrative voice, Evy Journey has delivered a captivating story about following your heart no matter where it leads, and forging your own path.

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