Entry Title Healing Through Divine Light:A Journey In Photos
Author: efy McDonnell
Judge Number: 37
Entry Category: Inspirational

Judge’s Commentary*:

Gorgeous cover and gorgeous photos throughout. The author has a wonderful eye for imagery, and the textures in these shots are astounding. Very well done. It’s especially gorgeous to find earth, water and fire elements in these photos, positioned so beautifully next to one another in the book, such as the fire element on page 45, standing out so beautifully after the cooler shot on page 43. That is sensational!

The author starts off the text of the book with a fantastic phrase: “… a very thin time.” That is extremely descriptive and engaging, a rare new way to describe a time of challenge that can deplete you. That line stays with the reader long after the book is done. A great way to start, and the author’s descriptions quite often follow in that line’s steps, with beautifully written passages throughout.

Author does a great job of conveying movement in the text–such as the part about Jenny being blown in the door. When you have static images, it’s brilliant to convey movement in the text. That rounds out a nature experience, and makes the book stand out.

We get a range of emotions, all shared at a very natural and engaging pace, and there’s a feeling of nature-inspired pacing in the author’s thought process, showing that she’s absorbed a bit of nature’s movement from calm to faster-flowing. The variation in pacing, when paired with nature elements, gives this book a very organic feel.

Readers who are suffering from chronic pain will relate well to the author’s journey, the ups and downs, the occasional despair, the many feelings related to how their illness affects their loved ones. This is definitely a book that will bring peace to them, and that will also give their loved ones a glimpse of the inner struggle and effect of nature as a possible help. So well done!

There’s just a little bump at the start of Part 3; we’re not sure why there’s such a focus on the heron right there, but soon the meaning becomes clear. The author does a marvelous job with transitions throughout, so this is not a worry.

And the author really delivers with “if we listen long enough, listening becomes comfortable.” Wow, that is really good. Very deep and universal. A strong, strong message right at the important glide to the end of the book. Nice work, and very nice to end with the photo taken by her son. Well done.