4 out of 4 stars
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Cindy Divine by Shafter Bailey is categorized as "Other Fiction," but I would say that it is a spellbinding work that mixes fiction with reality. Cindy is a lovable, intelligent, and kind American teenager who has an everyday life. She had a fascinating and loving relationship with her father, but everything started to change when her military dad had to go to Afghanistan.
With the husband's absence, the mother begins to neglect her relationship with Cindy, start having extramarital relationships and even put men of questionable character in her house who will cause trauma to her daughter. The formerly adorable protagonist then starts to feel anguish and anger. Still, the father's absence does not prevent her from using lessons she learned with him. She will become a force for good that will revolutionize the lives of her family members and the entire world. You see, this is not hyperbole; Cindy will become a world figure of the first magnitude, an improved version of Greta Thunberg.
It's tough to pinpoint just one point that stands out. The psychological development of the characters is masterfully described. I couldn't mention the traumatic events in the intro because that would be a spoiler, but several events discussed in the book could ruin any teenager's life. The protagonist manages to overcome the traumas on her own, that is, without the supervision of a professional.
However, if I had to pick just one point that caught my attention, I would choose the brilliant description of how politicians behave. Early on, Cindy learned from her father that if she had problems or fears, she should pray to her guardian angel. Halfway through the book, however, the guardian angel comes to life and begins counseling Cindy. She ends up performing miracles that make her a celebrity (no spoiler, dear editor: just read the book's description on Amazon). Cindy's fame and approval grow so much that not even the most cynical and self-interested politicians can ignore her.
The author did everything with care and perfection, from the cover to the development of ideas, the message, and the conclusion. The book is pretty much flawless. I only found two minor grammatical errors. In some parts of the book, it's sad and poignant to see a girl as angelic and pure as Cindy going through traumatic events, but everything has a purpose. As much as I didn't like to imagine this situation, it's evident that I can't consider it a flaw.
The astute reader has already realized that there will be no suspense. Cindy Divine deserves four out of four stars. I liked the book so much that I'm going to nominate it for the book of the year. I don't pretend to guess what the author's true intention is, but I would say he used poetic license to create miraculous events to show what's wrong with modern politics in the US and, by extension, the world. Therefore, even with content that can be considered religious, I see no sense in saying that an atheist should not read this book. I recommend this work to anyone interested in common problems in the West involving sexual abuse, corrupt politicians, failed marriages, bullying, and so forth. It was truly gratifying to see a thriving personification of pure love sweeping away the filth of the world once and for all. Way to go, Shafter Bailey: you just wrote a masterpiece.
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