A somewhat introspective, possibly even a personal account, awaits the reader in James Shapiro’s Sunrise over Belet and one wonders if the author, who shares his name with the principal character in the book, are one and the same, and that James Shapiro is perhaps writing from the heart.Sunrise over Belet recounts one man’s struggle from boyhood through to adulthood with the demon voices in his head. A troubled school life gives rise to academic success and then a career in the city, neither of which assuages the increasingly loud noises in James’ head and which dog James at every turn. The death of a friend propels James rapidly into a new life in another country and so his voyage of self-discovery continues. Sunrise over Belet reflects the struggles of many people, were they to admit it; the self-doubt we all experience and the increasing wonder of the meaning of life as we grow up and grow older. Sunrise over Belet is a fascinating insight into one of the many aspects of the human condition with a brilliantly managed conclusion.
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