The Black Inked Pearl

A Journey of the Soul

Fiction - Inspirational
321 Pages
Reviewed on 09/04/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

The Black Inked Pearl: A Journey of the Soul by Ruth Finnegan is an inspirational work of literary fiction that follows a mystical protagonist named Kate as she weaves in and out of the earthly world and one of magic. The story is told in ten parts, the first being Finnegan's acknowledgment that Kate's story was an epiphany, a revelation shared with her in a series of dreams which makes the book on some level within the realm of non-fiction; should her subconscious prove to be divination of a truth we do not yet know or understand. The story progresses as Kate makes a journey that transcends time, space, and physical limitations with experiences of love and tumult, the ultimate goal being an ascent into heaven.

The Black Inked Pearl is not a light read by any stretch of the imagination, nor is it an easy one to immediately grasp. Ruth Finnegan tells us that the story does not belong to her, and the prose has been revealed to her from beyond the limited capabilities of an earthly vocabulary. She writes an incredible, immensely intense narrative that is almost biblical in its use of metaphors and melodious composition. I loved the injection of poetry and the wholly engrossing desire for love, which Kate grasps with intermittent degrees of success and for both her own good as well as that which eludes her. God is rooted in the message although the depiction is one not fully in control. “Where had he got it wrong in his creating? Just that one freewill freewheel freefall stitch among all the good knit, stocking stitch too, black-writ lines. And now – look what had befall’n!” It's rare to find a modern, philosophical piece of work that is written with the classical beauty of Homer and the elegance of the King James Bible. I'm so pleased to have had the opportunity to read this.

Vincent Dublado

Ruth Finnegan’s Black Inked Pearl: A Journey of the Soul is a brilliant combination of prose and poetry in the tradition of modern thought in literature. We join a woman named Kate in a lyrical journey of self-consciousness beginning at the young age of 15 when she spurns a mysterious suitor. A few years later, however, she comes to enlightenment to seek him and renew their intimate moments. Her quest leads her to the path of God, wherein she has to complete seven tasks to find him. What follows is an epic journey through heaven and hell. It is a familiar theme of everlasting love that will resonate with anyone who believes that love conquers all and that self-discovery leads to an epiphany of treasuring the things that matter in our lives.

This is no easy read, but given its fresh and deep appeal, it should come as no surprise that it will find an audience among those who are drawn to the works of Shakespeare, Dante, and Petrarch. Black Inked Pearl resounds with a profound emotional fervor like an incipient rediscovery of the roots of poetry and prose. Ms. Finnegan’s peculiar writing form can be understood as her own way of understanding emotions that not only need to be expressed but to be resolved by turning inward and tapping into the existence of soul and reason. Her linguistic treatment of the story conveys her unique freedom as a language user, as she employs features according to the way they come to her. This is a highly original work that demands keen attention.

Rabia Tanveer

The Black Inked Pearl: A Journey of The Soul by Ruth Finnegan is the story of Katie as she searches for love and, in turn, finds herself. When our story opens, we meet Katie, a 15-year-old girl who rejects her first love. However, no sooner does she reject him when she realizes that she has made a mistake. And so begins her journey to find him again. However, finding him is not easy and she has to overcome trials and hurdles to find him. This task might be impossible, but Katie is ready to do whatever it takes to get him back in her life. Even if it means she has to walk through hell, she is willing to do that. Will she ever find her first love again? Or is love not in the cards for her?

There is something special about the way Ruth Finnegan writes. The combination of prose and poetry in The Black Inked Pearl is just fantastic and the author does an incredible job of laying down the background to make Katie's journey believable. Ruth makes sure the reader is in the moment with her characters and is not going anywhere. I love how her narrative style is modern yet very classical at the same time. It is the way that her narrative flows and how it builds up that makes me think of classical literature. The little bits of humor make the story brighter and a lot more fun. Katie’s progress and her development are on point. The pace is smooth and smartly fast but not too much to give the reader whiplash. This is a delightful novel that I highly recommend.