Reviewed by Nikki Leigh Willcome for Readers' Favorite
The Shores of Our Souls by Kathryn Brown Ramsperger chronicles the love story between Qasim, a Lebanese U.N. diplomat, and Dianna, a young researcher at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1980’s Manhattan. Both worlds collide in a chance encounter at a bar, though nothing seems to keep them together save for their mutual attraction for each other. Not only do they struggle with their individual pasts, but now they face present challenges with social prejudices that seem to be staring around every corner. The cultural gaps between them threaten to divide the passionate couple’s already tenuous future. With Qasim running from war in the Middle East and Dianna running to a life of greater purpose in the world, the question becomes if the two can connect their journeys and stay together.
The Shores of Our Souls grabbed my attention from the beginning and I was curious to see what kind of relationship these characters could build when everything about their lives seemed to be against them. I appreciated getting viewpoints from both characters, and found I was most drawn to Qasim’s character. His backstory was both surprising and reflective. He keeps the true extent of his affection for Dianna hidden, even from himself. Kathryn Brown Ramsperger does a nice job highlighting the challenges these two characters faced, both individually and together. The writing was well crafted; there was a good balance between the narrative and dialogue, and I enjoyed the excerpts previewing each chapter that gave me a sense of the historical events taking place, as if Ramsperger was challenging me to make the connections between the events and the characters’ actions and mindsets, and how it affected them. Not a typical romance, but The Shores of Our Souls is a thought-provoking read on both social and historical levels.