St Lucian author dares you to dream big!

As a child I often imagined what it was like being on a plane way up in the sky, and if it was possible to stretch my hands out of the windows and touch the clouds… In my dreams, I felt connected to a greater world. A world that transcended race, gender, cultures, religion and age.”
These profound words by St Lucian author Loverly Sheridan embody the heart and soul of a unique compilation of personal experiences in her new book, A Girl Like Me, My Amazing Story of Self-Discovery while traveling the world.  In twenty-nine short but pointed chapters Loverly weaves together an interesting and intriguing life’s journey that saw her trotting the globe. Amazingly at thirty-one her experiences of self discovery had already landed her in countries such as Australia, Japan, China, South Africa and Sweden.
Born on the beautiful Caribbean island of St Lucia, Loverly had a burning desire to explore the world. From a relatively tender age she convinced herself that the restrictive size of the island would not be a hindrance. If faith can move mountains, Loverly, who was raised by her single mother, Cecelia Jn Paul (formerly Alcindor), in relatively modest surrounding would time and again summon that indomitable spirit.
In her book, Loverly speaks warmly and affectionately about being raised by her mother and the values she instilled in her. She writes of the virtues of discipline and hard work preached by her mother, which imbued in her a determination to succeed at all cost. There was one pressing reason that motivated her: she wanted to make her mother proud.
The collection is filled with lessons she learned and decisions she had to take to cope with the challenges she faced.  The author grabs your attention by the way she retells her stories in simple prose and you can feel her passion. It is as if she wants her readers to gain some important lesson from each chapter. She gives vivid and deep insights into her youthful decision making process. As you read through the recollections you find yourself caught up, wondering why she made such a move. Then, she beautifully lays your fears to rest with an explanation or a rationale for the decision making.
She tells of the struggles she went through after her mother migrated to the United States leaving them behind on the island. By the time she joined her mother in Florida in the United States she knew that the trajectory of her life would never be the same.  She knew that she was on her way, given the educational opportunities America presented for her to live her dream of traveling the world.  Even if the Miami International Airport seemed too huge and the buildings appeared too gigantic, there was certainty that her big dreams were closer to realization.
She writes clearly of the emptiness and sadness that filled her youthful existence and the longing for a fulfilled life that seemed to escape her. Loverly exposes the foolish quest for material things and concludes that in the end happiness is internal. “The challenges of living on my own, going to college and having a job were a lot more than I anticipated,” she groans and moans, “It didn’t take long before I realized that the land of the free wasn’t so free.” She went on: “While most people
appear to have been blessed with everything, they were always searching for something more. It
seemed like a form of emptiness that constantly needed something or someone to refill it.”
Loverly takes you deep into her failed relationships. Her concept of love and the self-discovery that love is not about external physical underpinnings but rather the beauty that emanates from deep within. At twenty-four years old after completing her bachelor’s degree in Communication and Women’s Studies, she decided it was time to spread her wings and truly reach for her dreams. She recollects: “With little money, a broken heart, since my relationship of two years had also come to an end, leaving me feeling a bit betrayed and angry, I embarked on my journey.” For the first time she would be living in another country other than the United States, St Lucia and Barbados.  She was bound for Australia.  She remembers, “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had this calm, reassuring feeling that it would change my life.”  It did.
Later she would get married In South Africa to Michael of Sweden. The two would have one son called Matthew. Then, three years later the divorce. Despite her broken home she writes reassuringly: “We will never know and understand each other, if we are busy
judging each other.” What shines forth glowingly from the 127 pages of this inspirational book is the wisdom of youth way beyond her age. Step by step she counsels other young people, as if imploring them to learn from her mistakes and experiences.
A Girl like Me is not just words and clichés but a living testimonial. It is filled with useful lessons of the author’s steadfastness and perseverance that is required to be successful in an unknown world.  So young, so accomplished and so daring! You should be rushing to get your own copy.

St Lucian author Loverly Sheridan.

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