The Sound of Serenity

Non-Fiction - Autobiography
240 Pages
Reviewed on 02/13/2016
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Paeti Gustav Xaviers’ The Sound of Serenity is an autobiography crafted to read like a very interesting novel, a rare find indeed. From the early days of life, from building a friendship with a Jewish boy, to being considered a junkie, and through restlessness to finally finding peace in God, the author lifts the veil and reveals a broken person seeking healing and redemption. As the author struggles to find answers to her illness and abuse, she is startled to discover that beyond our human brokenness, beyond our fears, beyond our vulnerable fragility, there is the voice of God who calls us to union with Him.

Xaviers writes with elegance, a prose that is as simple as the inner voice she’s sought to hear over the years. It’s a beautiful story simply told, a story that will find resonance in many souls. And this could be the story of each of us, because in the heart of her story is the one thing that animates every soul: the quest for redemption. Told in the first person point of view, the story will draw readers in, making them feel like they are part of the story. The Sound of Serenity will make readers remember their own battle and feel encouraged that at the end of the dark tunnel there is light, and that beneath our brokenness there is a child of purity. This is a story of hope and redemption, a story that communicates the wonderful news that we can always find answers to the questions that baffle our minds, that there is peace when we finally come home to God. Xaviers' journey towards healing is a tale that will inspire millions, a highly recommended autobiography.

Mamta Madhavan

The Sound of Serenity by Paeti Gustav Xaviers is the author's story of her struggle to find God and her struggle to live with the label of being called 'mentally ill.' The book begins with the author being very young and trying to figure out God. Thinking being her favorite pastime, the author spent a lot of time engrossed with thoughts about God. The subconscious searching for something better always influenced the author and her addiction to substances dominated her growing up. The author's yearning to discover God gave a deeper meaning to her existence. It's a story of healing, self-discovery, self-recovery, and will inspire and motivate readers to look into their lives with a different perspective and understand the importance of God in everyone's lives.

It's not always easy to get out of the negativity you bring into your life through addictions and bad living. I found the author's journey to self-recovery and healing encouraging and uplifting. Her learning about life and its lessons is palpable and connects with readers. The author's transformation is inspirational and will motivate readers to make changes in their own lives. The book speaks about spiritual activity, the impact of positive and negative emotions, and the freedom of choice we individuals have when it comes to believing. The simplicity and grace of God is highlighted throughout the book and the author's 'Mormon Life,' 'Third-Eye Life,' and 'Normal Life' show how the author lived under the guise of not being overly religious, and stigmatized as 'mentally ill.' An encouraging story of healing and self-recovery.

Faridah Nassozi

The Sound of Serenity by Paeti Gustav Xaviers is an autobiography covering a controversial and complex journey in search of spiritual enlightenment. What started out as childhood competition between two best friends to prove who was smarter turned into a lifetime pursuit for one. What began as mere childhood curiosity soon became an obsession that would have her searching for true understanding of existence and God. She, however, soon came to believe that she could not attain the understanding she desperately sought in an ordinary state of mind, but rather by taking her mind to the next level through the use of marijuana. This brought on a strong marijuana addiction for about six years during which time she believed she reached the spiritual state required to truly understand and connect with God. Where everyone believed her to be mentally ill, she believed they just did not understand her spiritual quest. Follow this relentless journey in the search for spiritual enlightenment that drove her to mental institutions, to prison, and to the very edge.

The Sound of Serenity by Paeti Gustav Xaviers is the author's narration of a very controversial and very complex spiritual quest, and her clash against a system and people that did not understand her struggle. Her distinction between the use and abuse of marijuana, as justified at the time, is a clear example of her struggle and how desperate she was for the answers she needed but could not find in all books written on the subject. Her use of the drug to attain a spiritual high walked a very thin line in the distinction between use and abuse and such a line could easily be crossed. The story clearly highlights the author's spiritual struggle for deeper understanding and true connection with God.

Kathryn Bennett

The Sound of Serenity by Paeti Gustav Xaviers sets out to make you think and ask yourself questions through what it brings up. You will find such thought provoking topics as “The Proper Use of Marijuana” to “A Cure for a Stressed American Economy.” The Sound of Serenity is a book about the life of Paeti Gustav Xaviers and the struggle she had to find God and the stigma of having the mental illness label put upon her. After a long struggle, a place of rest and welcome was found within the Mormon Church. Follow this journey and find out what happened when a tired soldier found a home.

I found this book to be both informative and interesting. Author Paeti Gustav Xaviers has a very nice way of writing that seems to flow while making you think. I could not imagine the struggle she had, especially dealing with the mentally ill label. I know through a dear friend how hard that struggle can be and how comforting it is when you find a home. I didn't know a whole lot about the Mormon Church before reading this book, but I come away feeling informed. Autobiographies can sometimes come across as very self serving and a little bit selfish. This one manages to escape that trap and just be a good book overall. If you like a book that takes you on a very clear journey and makes you think while educating you, this is a book you will enjoy and I highly recommend it.