Anastasia Redeemed

17 Apr

The Anastasia theme
The Author would appear to have latched on to an ‘Anastasia’ theme that seemed to have captured people’s attention during that particular time when the book idea was conceived. Readers apparently were eager to explore human physicality when enmeshed in ‘shady’ areas emotionally over-played. But his Anastasia experiences emotional tensions in another dimension. Her natural spontaneity and exuberance get reined in by manipulative and intransigent control-freaks almost with impunity.

Yet, in the book, Anastasia Redeemed, Anastasia courageously sings her song! She somehow uses her inner strength and her reliance on prayer to confront her partial and dodgy Managers. She needs to be heard and to be taken seriously even if her simplicity gets mistaken for naivety and her honesty for arrogance. She plainly doesn’t need to escape to ‘shady’ areas that her Managers escape to in clandestine ways to relieve their own tensions. She’s outspokenly clear and simple, sincere yet powerful.

‘Anastasia’ is the story of a Kenyan girl who wants to dedicate her life to serving others. The Author, Trophy D’Souza, in his third book, cleverly disguises powerful argument and passion in descriptions and details that make the book an exciting read! It’s a tale that resonates with Kenyan folklore and is packed with African snippets and religious insights. In some ways it is a delicious banquet served up, not with run-of-the-mill dishes, but with a succulent Kenyan main course and a tasty African dessert. Anastasia who goes through painful traumas at the hands of incapable religious Managers uses her faith and self belief to come out triumphant. It is a book that Managers who are Trainers should read. Managers who are responsible for mentoring trainees for religious living have valuable lessons to learn. The average ‘lay’ reader has a story that touches deep human emotion and cries out for justice and for solutions to situations that will always be part of growing up.

Reactions to the Book
The book may not have got the wide publicity it might have needed possibly because themes of a religious setting by their very nature get read only in certain circles. Yet apparently the response has been encouraging wherever the book was read.

A Nun, who is responsible for training postulants in a city in East Africa, said, ‘The book opened my eyes to issues I may not have looked at earlier. I have got my team of trainers to read the book and to discuss how we could avoid some of the pitfalls identified in the book….I have also made the book available in the Community Reading Room where other Nuns too could have access to it.’

A Manager in a multi-tasking ‘Call Centre’ in the UK said, ‘I found the book threw up some problems that may have escaped me. We get many young trainees who need to be understood. In spite of the busy schedule we run I think we need to give some space and time to help them grow up not only to be effective workers but also into better social human beings. ‘

A Director in a College in India, that doubles up as a centre for religious studies as well as for university studies, found ‘gems of wisdom’ and ‘practical advice’ to guide him in his task of training future religious and priests. He had to admit, ‘I didn’t realize that power could be used to control and hinder the growth of sensitive and needy human souls. It clearly needs to be used more positively.’

Reviewers of the Book
‘An easy read and a compelling book,’ said Menon, who trains teachers for the British Council in India. She added, ‘Anastasia’s trials….. have been presented through a sensitively crafted narrative, which seem to speak to the reader from deep within Anastasia’s being.’

‘The story is truly gripping, full of the realities that life throws up….’ said Gomes, who has a varied education experience in Australia and in India. He believes that the Author’s ‘inimitable style’ helps ‘to blend the African setting’ with ‘the Christian influences that seem to guide the outcomes.’

While Menezes, a Media and Library Specialist in New York, feels that the typical ‘western’ reader,’ immersed in a hi-tech world, should relish this exotic experience presented in an easy-to-read style’, Lazar, a training consultant for Religious Training Services in East Africa, believes that the book is more about Anastasia’s ‘search for meaning in life by staying close to her culture and…to the spiritual values of her religion.’

Other Books with similar themes
The Author, who has experience of dealing with people in different settings in life, has a way with words in dealing with dysfunctional situations. His first book, A Bumpy Ride, shows how ‘incompetent Managers’ can affect people’s lives, very much the way Anastasia’s ‘bumpy ride’ hits an iceberg [‘intolerant Management’] that nearly destroys her. His second book, The Singh Saga, elaborates how ‘shady’ characters can make a family dysfunctional, while his fourth book, The Silence Beyond the Pain, once again explores how arrogant Managers can make life unbearable for unsuspecting and genuine clients. Always concerned about a reader’s possible emotional spill-over his books provide inspiration and resolution. Realization and repentance find redemption in his books which constantly seek not to disparage but to explore human dimensions and possibilities!
Details of the Author’s books can be seen at his blog: http://www.trodza.wordpress.com . Trophy D’Souza is on FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Anastasia Redeemed, published in March 2013, is available from New Generation Publishing and from Amazon.

The Story and the Issues
Anastasia needs to be heard and to be taken seriously even if she does not dabble in ‘shady’ areas that usually get headlines. She’s outspokenly pure and simple, honest yet powerful. It is a tale that resonates with Kenyan folklore, packed with African snippets. In some ways it is a delicious banquet served up, not with run-of-the-mill dishes, but with a succulent Kenyan main course and a tasty African dessert. Anastasia who goes through painful traumas at the hands of incapable religious Managers uses her faith and self belief to come out triumphant and successful. It is a book religious Managers who are Trainers must read and keep alongside their Bibles! It offers insights for the average lay reader as well, exposing the ‘fault lines’ in this African ‘rift valley’!

‘Anastasia’s trials with facing the loss of her family, with living up to her brave decision to stick with Akamba tradition and with accepting her fatherless child have been presented through a sensitively crafted narrative, which seems to speak to the reader from deep within Anastasia’s being. It is as if her voice grows, from that of a little girl with a simple and naive perspective of the world and from that of a young woman in her quest of the Almighty, into a strong woman who has matured through the challenges life has thrown at her.’

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