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7 Sanctuaries

Title:  7 Sanctuaries
Author:  Ben A. Sharpton
Pages:  266
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Novel Voices Press
                People choose to read or not read books for a variety of reasons.  I am always looking out for authors that are new to me even if they aren’t new to the people who read my reviews.  Ben Sharpton’s writing was new to me so when I was asked to review this novel, I accepted.  The timeframe for the stories is the mid to late 1960s in a rural town in Florida.  The theme is discovering the sanctuaries people seek out when life is anything but peaceful.  During the sixties, if you remember, many threats from foreign nations grabbed the headlines.  Along with that was the desegregation of schools.  While the law could make some changes, it couldn’t change the hearts and minds of people as quickly.  Also during this time period two influential leaders were killed.
                The author writes a tale that follows one family through these years.  The viewpoint however changes with each sanctuary that the chapter highlights.  The characters in the novel share their struggles and life with a first person point of view.  Though the author presents his readers with seven sanctuaries in the prologue, he acknowledges many more exist.  Readers follow a main character through each particular sanctuary.  For instance, when reading of the sanctuary of the church the events are viewed through the eyes of a Methodist preacher.
                We follow two of the four youngest characters through their elementary and high school years, which become life-threatening due to the atmosphere of the school.  The atmosphere of the school is harsh because of the refusal by some to change their belief system.  Many who have grown up in this time period will be reminded of events that have occurred in the nation that directly affect individual lives.  Note:  In one particular section of the novel, teenagers are in a conversation and there is frequent use of foul language.             
I was born in the early sixties and due to education as well as family stories past down have some semblance of understanding during this time period.  Neither the author nor I want you to think that the times in the world were hard only during the 1960s.  In fact, even now our nation faces tumultuous trials of which some are consequences of the sixties.  Remember that though the novel mentions historical events and people, the tale, characters and such are made up.
It was good to be reminded of what our nation has gone through as well as thinking of how people may or may not have reacted to their times.  For me, I also thought of how my life was affected during these years.  I recommend reading 7 Sanctuaries and hope you thoroughly enjoy it!
My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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