Thursday, October 3, 2013

Behind the Shades Review

Although I don't know much about Ray Charles, I was interested to read his daughter's story. In "Behind the Shades: Hope Beyond the Darkness", Sheila Raye Charles tells her story and her mother's story.

Her mother's relationship with the famous Ray Charles was dicey, to say the least, and Sheila's relationship with her father was basically non-existent for many years. Sheila's story was of her personal experiences - filled with drugs, sexual molestations and struggles, feelings of abandonment from her father, and dealing with consequences - primarily that of her experiences in prison. Her mother Sandra's story revolves primarily around her relationship with Ray Charles.

Sadly, I was disappointed in this book. I have heard that people who hear Sheila speak are touched in tremendous ways by her story. I felt that none of that came across in this book. I felt confused between the parts that Sandra wrote, and the past and present parts of Sheila's story. I spent a good amount of time just trying to figure out the timeline of the story. I also felt that a lot of details were included which did not need to be included. I also felt like a lot of the book read like a gossip magazine.

It's true that Ray Charles made bad choices in his life. You can search him on the website and find that he had many affairs with many women and problems with drugs. I don't feel that there is any reason to exploit these mistakes of his, especially since he passed away almost ten years ago.

I would like to hear Sheila's story spoken. I didn't enjoy how the book was written and it didn't seem very professional to me. I think she has a great story but it doesn't really come across like that in this book.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews and Vox Dei Publishers for giving me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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