The Water Calls

One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Dignity and Freedom

Non-Fiction - Inspirational
356 Pages
Reviewed on 12/02/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

The Water Calls: One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Dignity and Freedom by Ariana Strozzi Mazzucchi is designed to encourage women to reclaim their self-worth, dignity, and freedom. The book is one woman’s journey to find her voice and take control of her life. When the author tried to come to terms with her life, especially after a traumatic divorce, she realized that through most of her life, she had been conditioned to hide her innate capacity to connect to nature to fit society’s image of a woman. Beautifully illustrated by the author, each chapter ends with Opportunities and Contemplation, and Time in Nature Contemplation that guides women who want to spread their wings and go on a mythical journey to find their true selves.

Ariana Strozzi Mazzucchi’s The Water Calls is a must-read for women who want to have more control over their own lives by nurturing their relationship with nature. Mazzucchi shows her readers how to become strong and powerful beings. She emphasizes that through the eyes of nature, we can discover qualities of our lives through the enchantment of animals’ wisdom. She reveals how her animal guides help her cope with old wounds and disloyalties. The illustrations and the poems are effective in getting her message across to women who are on a spiritual journey to find themselves. This story is a triumphant journey to reconnect with the natural world and it is worth emulating. In a world where humans are losing touch with nature, The Water Calls is a gem of a book that should encourage readers to reassess their lives.

Foluso Falaye

In The Water Calls: One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Dignity and Freedom, Ariana Strozzi Mazzucchi examines her past, including how she was the victim of emotional abuse from childhood and then into a traumatic marriage, and how she eventually overcame the barriers that prevented her from becoming her true self and exploring her passion. The narrator, Emma, noticed her husband slipping away and enjoying the company of another woman, but she struggled to take the necessary steps to leave her deteriorating marriage. Fortunately, she was able to develop a healthy perspective in her attempts to express herself through art, her relationship with horses and nature, and a careful evaluation of some important incidents from her past.

Ariana Strozzi Mazzucchi's ability to learn significant and rational lessons from her most difficult experiences is astounding. I felt like numerous light bulbs were turning on in my mind as I read her many amazing insights because I was introduced to things I had never considered before. One such insight is to unearth old tales and create new ones by focusing on the energy of certain animals and plants with which you relate and learn from them. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one-of-a-kind, magical memoir, which is recounted in both first and third person. The Water Calls will motivate and direct readers toward living by their standards and recognizing and dismissing old beliefs that no longer serve them through its useful and direct advice, real-world examples, and deep interpretations.

Vincent Dublado

The Water Calls: One Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Dignity and Freedom by Ariana Strozzi Mazzucchi is an unforgettable true-to-life story of one woman’s journey. It is simultaneously an opportunity for us readers to get to know ourselves, as well as to tap into the latent connection we have to Mother Nature and what she has to offer. It is about how the author learned to set herself free after she emerged triumphant from struggling to make sense of her chaotic divorce. She shares her personal story as an invitation for you to explore your journey to free yourself from the shackles of other people’s judgments and expectations. Each chapter presents a poem that expresses an artistic sense of her personal experience, which she claims is presented in a pure state both spontaneous and intuitive.

Ariana Strozzi Mazzucchi’s combined narrative, verses, and images are profoundly evocative, making you sense the most powerful things in nature. It is a testament to the healing properties of the natural things around us, particularly animals, that guided Mazzucchi to decode the riddles of her existence with their untainted wisdom. The rhythm and sounds of her tales resonate, giving you a sense of renewal, of rebirth, as the most natural things yield fascinating revelations when you pay attention to them. The Water Calls isn’t simply written from the viewpoint of imagination. It is written from the heart and mind of observation and experience. It is nourishment for any human soul that seeks to find answers. It’s a must-read.

Asher Syed

The Water Calls: One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Dignity and Freedom by Ariana Strozzi Mazzucchi is a non-fiction self-help memoir in which the author uses her own life experiences as the foundation for her calling to help others work through their own. Mazzucchi begins with some backstory on her personal life, sharing the collection of emotional stones thrown at her by those she loved, trusted, and were meant to nurture her, that ultimately led to an adult life and relationships where the same cycle continued. Narrated in vignettes, Mazzucchi provides the reader with the perspective of “Emma” whose pain and experiences are depicted in slices, and are accompanied by artwork, poetry, reflections, and meaningful question prompts to tie Emma's struggles into ours.

It is Ariana Strozzi Mazzucchi's profound honesty that makes The Water Calls instantly engaging and relatable. I admit I've never been able to or known a person who acknowledged the ability to commune with nature and guides outside those I can physically touch. I do believe it exists and that the likelihood of me knowing someone who was uncomfortable sharing their capabilities is more likely than me not knowing someone at all. Mazzucchi puts her gift and her story out there, and that takes courage. The book itself is well-written and heart-wrenching, but the promise of inspiration is fulfilled. I am a grown man who got incredibly choked up while reading the chapter entitled Helga, named for a storm, where Emma experiences the circle of life in both its beauty and agony, which transcends an orphaned lamb. Very, very highly recommended.

Cecelia Hopkins

The Water Calls by Ariana Strozzi Mazzucchi tells the story of Emma, a dyslexic girl with an affinity for animals. The girl loved riding her horse down on the beach, and her first horse was named “Sumi”. She witnessed the behavior of mean girls at the local stables. Emma and her horse boarded with Margaret, until an unexplained rejection. Emma’s mother’s growing depression renders her parent harsh and unloving. She attends UC Davis to study animal behavior. Volunteer work at the Raptor Center helps her overcome homesickness. When Mae is born, Emma discovers mothering instincts. Disappointments at work force Emma to develop self-reliance. She helps Ken develop a leadership training business, but once again, petty jealousies surface. Emma is ostracized from a workplace she established. Finally, she divorces Ken and discovers herself while rescuing animals.

The Water Calls by Ariana Strozzi Mazzucchi created a persona to undertake a healing journey. I really loved the reflections, all of which I could see myself performing, and repeating numerous times! The first reflection challenged me to envision my own sacred place. Another involved recalling childhood hobbies. The walk with the birds exercise sounded inspiring, and I cannot wait to try it. I will also reflect on the strengths of my “elders”. I absolutely loved the reflection that asked whether I was “stuck in a stall”! I felt warm when the author thanked me for sharing the journey with her. The Water Calls by Ariana Strozzi Mazzucchi isn’t a storybook, but an invitation to self-discovery. I felt the nature theme and personal insights made this volume stand out from other self-help discourses available.