The Soul Bearers

Rated 5.00/5 based on 9 reviews
Inspired by real life events, this is a story of courage, friendship and unconditional love. Alex, freelance writer and survivor of child abuse, shares a house with homosexual couple: Steve and the disturbing Matthew. Alex finds that she is inexplicably attracted to Matthew and must battle with her repressed sexuality and fear of intimacy. More

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About Sylvia Massara

Sylvia Massara is a multi-genre novelist based in Sydney, Australia, who dabbles in wacky love affairs, drama and murder (or all three) over coffee. Sylvia has been writing since her early teens and her work consists of novels and screenplays.

As with most authors, Sylvia draws on her varied experience in the sometimes puzzling tapestry of life. These days, however, Sylvia has resigned from the human race, and she lives both in the animal kingdom with her kitty cat, Mia, (a much better place to be), and vicariously through the many characters in her head.

Sylvia has a soft spot for older female protagonists with an attitude, who are on the cusp of 40 years and beyond. This is seen in her wacky, romantic comedies and, most recently, in her mystery novels.

An avid fan of classic black and white Hollywood movies of the 40s, including film noir, Sylvia has placed her protagonist, Mia Ferrari, in a contemporary mystery series with a “film noir” flavour. Mia is an older, spunky, smartarse female who works in the international world of hotels. The theme is comedic, sexy, and sprinkled with a little bit of style from the film noir era. The stories are fast-paced and set in the modern day world.

On a more serious note, Sylvia’s work in literary fiction brings forth The Soul Bearers, an inspirational story filled with hope, overcoming fear, loss, betrayal, and discovering the healing power of unconditional love. At present, the novel is under consideration for adaptation into a feature film.

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The Soul Bearers - book trailer
"The Soul Bearers" is a story of courage, friendship and unconditional love. It's a story of life and death. It's a story of overcoming obstacles in the face of adversity. It's a story of hope.

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Reviews

Review by: Parents' Little Black Book Reviews on May 24, 2012 :
Alex, a freelance travel writer, who spends her time moving throughout Australia, has decided to go back to her roots in Sydney. But for Alex Sydney is not an easy place to be. This is not a safe have or reminder of a childhood spent with carefree days. Instead she is now facing the demons of her abuse. When she left, at fifteen, she swore to never return but healing takes a long time and the abuse must be faced head on if healing is to take place.

Looking for accommodations she meets Steven and Mathew, a couple who together have come to terms with the pain in their pasts. Both rejected by their families they have found unconditional love for the first time. As they cherish their relationship there are dark clouds on the horizon. But for now they are living in the moment and enjoying what they have built together.

Alex is immediately taken with the young men who have given her a room in their home. Steve, the actor, so good looking people turn to stare at him and Matthew, the event planner, who keeps their lives on track with his easy acceptance and mild manner. But even as they begin to trust each other and share their stories, they know the dark clouds will eventually change everything.

A warm story of love, heartbreak, grief and healing, The Soul Bearers is one that will stay with the reader. The author, Ms. Massara, uses a light hand while she explores the deepest recesses of the human soul. Never forcing emotion but allowing it to come from within she takes the reader on a journey of discovery. The characters grow within the story, slowly and carefully binding the reader to them. Very well written and smoothly edited this is a book I recommend very highly.

For ages 18+ with the warning the subject matter may be controversial to some readers.

Karen Bryant Doering,
Parents' Little Black Book
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Parents' Little Black Book Reviews on May 24, 2012 : (no rating)
Alex, a freelance travel writer, who spends her time moving throughout Australia, has decided to go back to her roots in Sydney. But for Alex Sydney is not an easy place to be. This is not a safe have or reminder of a childhood spent with carefree days. Instead she is now facing the demons of her abuse. When she left, at fifteen, she swore to never return but healing takes a long time and the abuse must be faced head on if healing is to take place.

Looking for accommodations she meets Steven and Mathew, a couple who together have come to terms with the pain in their pasts. Both rejected by their families they have found unconditional love for the first time. As they cherish their relationship there are dark clouds on the horizon. But for now they are living in the moment and enjoying what they have built together.

Alex is immediately taken with the young men who have given her a room in their home. Steve, the actor, so good looking people turn to stare at him and Matthew, the event planner, who keeps their lives on track with his easy acceptance and mild manner. But even as they begin to trust each other and share their stories, they know the dark clouds will eventually change everything.

A warm story of love, heartbreak, grief and healing, The Soul Bearers is one that will stay with the reader. The author, Ms. Massara, uses a light hand while she explores the deepest recesses of the human soul. Never forcing emotion but allowing it to come from within she takes the reader on a journey of discovery. The characters grow within the story, slowly and carefully binding the reader to them. Very well written and smoothly edited this is a book I recommend very highly.

For ages 18+ with the warning the subject matter may be controversial to some readers.

Karen Bryant Doering,
Parents' Little Black Book
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Nicole Chardenet on Feb. 25, 2012 :
What a heartwarming story about love and recovery. Alex is a woman with a dark history of sexual abuse and Matthew and Steve are a gay couple with whom she moves in - Steve is slowly dying of AIDS, Matthew is his extremely handsome partner.

Alex doesn't like for men to touch her; she's never had a boyfriend and she dresses like a schlump to discourage male interest. Matthew has always been drop-dead gorgeous and never cared; in fact he doesn't like being of interest to anyone mostly because of his looks. Steve is a very deep, spiritual person who explains what a 'soul bearer' is to Alex.

While living with the couple Alex realizes she has to face up to her issues with men and the terrible wrong done to her; she'd like to learn to love but doesn't know how. How she accomplishes that is one of the most interesting takes on recovery that I've ever seen; let's just say it's pretty unorthodox. And also quite touching.

Grab the hankies; this is a three-Kleenex story!

I think this would make for a very provocative movie...
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Dannye Williamsen on Jan. 19, 2012 :
Once the mystical tale of the Soul Bearers is revealed, the impending sorrow is evident. However, "The Soul Bearers" is not about this loss. It is about the journey that surrounds the loss. It is about discovering unconditional love, about letting go of the past in order to rejoice in the present, about learning how to love yourself enough to be open and receptive to life. Author Sylvia Massara does an excellent job of weaving the psychological evolution of the characters into the story, drawing you into their pain as well as their joy.

Alex is a woman who was damaged by her stepfather’s abuse and left home at fifteen, eventually becoming a travel writer, which allows her to avoid commitments to people or places. Her life begins to change when she makes her first commitment to putting down roots and facing her fears because it draws her into the world of Matthew and Steve.

Matthew is the gay and extraordinarily handsome partner of Steve, who is dying of AIDS. Thrown out of his home when his father discovered he was gay, Matthew depended on friends for support until he met Steve, who became the love of his life. Despite the joy of having Steve in his life, Matthew has never reconciled his feelings about being rejected so completely by his parents or the superficiality of those attracted solely by his looks.

Steve has had to face the ultimate challenge—the knowledge that he is dying. He has developed a sense of peace around the process—a peace that allows him to offer those around him unconditional love and understanding. It is a gift that both Alex and Matthew need if they are going to survive their pasts.

It takes courage to change one’s life, and Massara’s characters exhibit this reality of change. Massara doesn’t trivialize the effort required or sugarcoat the angst involved, which makes it all the more real for the reader. You may be surprised at the turn of events in this novel, but Massara doesn’t disappoint as she takes you on an emotional journey that will touch your heart.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Lori Morin on Aug. 31, 2011 :
What a beautiful story of Love & Friendship and Tragedy & Triumph! It brought a couple of hard subjects to light and showed how the characters found the strength of friendship and unending love to bring them to acceptance & forgiveness. It will always warm my heart when I see a butterfly and bring a tear to my eye for the "Soul Bearer". I really enjoyed this wonderful book that I was lucky enough to win, and I thank Sylvia for writing it and Sandy Wolters for picking my name in the drawing!! I'm looking forward to reading more of Sylvia's books in the future.
Lori Morin
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Kristie Leigh Maguire on Aug. 27, 2011 :
The Soul Bearers is a riveting and compelling story that brought me to tears in many places but somehow managed to leave me with hope in other places. Sylvia gives a no holds barred look within the lives of a woman who was brutally sexually abused as a child and two gay men who love each other deeply despite being disowned by their families for their lifestyle.

I cannot say that I enjoyed reading about the pain and suffering of the three people in this book because no one wants to see another human being suffer. However, The Soul Bearers was a book I couldn't put down once I started reading it. I was deeply moved by this story. It continues to stay with me even after I finished reading it.

Sylvia certainly has a masterful way with words. Excellent writing! I highly recommend The Soul Bearers.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sandy Wolters on July 21, 2011 :
In The Soul Bearers, Sylvia Massara was able to make the reader feel the character's emotions. Everything from rejection of family because the character needs to be himself, resolving long ago memories of horrific child abuse, to the loss of a very dear loved one.

The reader gets a glimpse into these three people's lives, all broken in their own way, and then the reader gets to see the transformation when they become more than just close friends, they become each others family and learn what unconditional love truly is.

This was one of the most heartfelt books I have read to date. Be prepared for a roller coaster ride with this book. The author has the ability to make the reader feel as though they are there with the characters, feeling both their pain and joy. I loved this book.

The is a must read.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Darcia Helle on Nov. 20, 2010 :
With The Soul Bearers, Sylvia Massara takes on three challenging and often controversial topics. While she does not besiege us with graphic details, not once does she shy away from the emotional journey. The pain is raw, the joy exhilarating. Sylvia gives us a look at the worst and the best of humanity. We could all learn a little something from her characters.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Tina Rolfe on Oct. 05, 2010 :
I read Sylvia's other novel "The Other Boyfriend", which was a romantic comedy and I wasn't sure what to expect of "The Soul Bearers". I have to say I was not disappointed and this was a totally different genre, too.

The story was absolutely beautiful and very inspirational; teaching us that there is always hope in the face of adversity - not matter how bad things get. Anyone who loves stories where courage overcomes difficulties and where unconditional love wins the day won't be dissapointed. When I finished reading this book I was crying tear of joy, but also tears of "what might have been". I was uplifted and inspired. Highly recommended read.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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