My husband and I both read this book and talked about it for days. We have already recommended it to a friend who is in a bad relationship. With a “Part Two” added to this book, it has the potential to be a masterpiece in the self-help genre on relationships and I will tell you why:
I loved the craftsmanship in the way this book was written and the author’s writing style. The word pictures created were superb. The beauty of the well written story was magical. The novel really moved me in a deep and spiritual way. Mark Paxon’s insights and intuitions were well woven into this account of a man’s quest for understanding his own unhappiness. It reminded me that men, whom we often regard as the stronger, less emotional sex, really do have feelings, hopes, and desires.
The characters, both primary and ancillary are truly tangible. Kelvin, his family, and the people of Santa Cielo are very real people to me now. You can see the characters, hear them speak, and feel their pains. Father Santos is a humble man. Santa Cielo is a most inspiring place that I visited with Kelvin, and his home is not unlike so many in America. The settings are vivid and clear, and come alive with the people, sights, sounds, smells, and flavors of the distinctively different cultures. At times, I thought Kelvin most selfish, and as I read on, I realized that he was truly selfless, compassionate, and wanting the happiness of all, himself, the people of Santa Cielo, and his family. Kelvin, however, is not a humble man.
The author is very talented, and I would have loved to have seen him expound on how Kelvin was able to achieve happiness, the changes that were necessary in both his thinking and behavior, in order to attract the sort of happiness of his desire. I did not feel that Kelvin ever thoroughly and effectively cleaned up the weeds on his side of the garden. I wanted the book to be longer. It felt somewhat incomplete. What it was like, and what he intended to do different were there, but what it is like now was not. There needed to be a conclusion chapter, at least, for a more satisfying ending. I felt this was an awesome and inspiring book wherein the author does not preach his ideas, but relates to people and their issues in a way that is genuine and not forced. All good books leave you wanting more. If you have ever been in a relationship, are in a relationship, or plan to be in a relationship, you really should read this book. I would love to read a sequel by this author. I would definitely buy it, read it, and most certainly find it interesting. I love books that get me to think, and not simply entertain. This book did both!
When reading this book, it is important to keep in mind that the POV is exclusively Kelvin Rockwell’s, and Kelvin has some work to do. We all need to be mindful of tending our gardens.