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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
For the Soul: A Collection of Short Stories was written by Barbara Daniels-Dena. Quilts, children, and dogs – what more can life offer? Well, stories, of course. And, where there are quilts, children, and dogs, there’s bound to be lots of stories. Life is full of stories: funny stories, heart-wrenching and heart-warming stories, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Like the author, I recall spending hours rifling through my grandmother’s button box. There were all kinds of buttons: large, small, brightly colored, shiny, or dull. These buttons were a source of inspiration for stories, learning to count, learning the colors, and just savoring the precious moments spent with my grandmother. Life and those accessories we collect during our lifetime are full of stories. But so are our imaginations, our dreams, and the random thoughts that swirl around in our heads – so many stories to share.
Barbara Daniels-Dena’s book, For the Soul: A Collection of Short Stories, is a marvelous collection of stories the author wrote through the years. Each one is dated and, like the one about the black-turned-white crow with a hidden agenda and a secret message, there is often a footnote of what or who inspired the story. Each story is complete and succinctly told with great attention to detail, though often sparsely revealed in the author’s clever way of leaving the spaces between the lines loaded with veiled messages. The plots are compelling and the characters well defined, making this collection an enjoyable read: not to be read all at once, but to be savored over time.