For the Soul by Barbara Daniels Dena truly is a compilation of stories, musings, memories, anecdotes, and snippets for the soul. It is meant to be dipped into as and when a reader has time or just needs a break from the hurly-burly of daily life or needs their faith in humanity restored. Some stories are a mishmash of a couple of events, some are based on real events, others are fiction. There are a number of hilarious episodes based on the author’s real experiences as a teacher as well. Here you will find a hippo in a tutu, determined to make a little girl smile, a leprechaun who was, well, a leprechaun, a turtle that wanted to be a dog, several Christmas stories (that brought tears to my eyes), animal stories based on real animals, and much, much more.
Barbara Daniels Dena writes in a comfortable, down to earth style, and many times, while reading, I felt as if she was sitting next to me actually telling me the story herself. There are a number of anecdotes about family that readers will relate to; I certainly did. The stories focus on humanity, even the ‘humanity’ of animals, positive traits, and social issues that we all can comprehend. For me the themes of kindness, life’s wisdom, and giving of oneself stood out. This was especially evident in the fact that many stories are based on reality, real people or events. There is a timeline as well because the stories have dates.
There is no particular order and a reader who has a few minutes to spare can just dip in and out. But beware; once you start reading you might find yourself quite caught up in more than one tale. I read the first half in one go, thinking I’d just read one or two stories. When I dived in to tackle the second half, a few days later, I was surprised to come to the end of the book. This is a delightful and charming collection with something for everyone, no matter what your preferred reading genre is. Highly recommended.