Soul Afflicted by George Hayward

That little voice in your head … your conscience. We all hear it, in our own ways. It’s been portrayed as an angel in one ear and a devil in the other, but it’s really all in your head. Isn’t it? Ariel Parisi leads a carefree, charmed life…until a random act of charity reveals those angels and devils and sends him in search of hope.

SOUL AFFLICTED is a godless man’s journey, following the voices in his head and signs from God, seeking the angel who’ll save him from the sins afflicting him. But is Ariel afflicted, or has he lost his grip on reality as his charmed life falls to pieces? This book explores spirituality through fiction, traveling from Colorado through the deserts of the American Southwest, to L.A. and on to Hawaii. It weaves basic tenets of western religions and Buddhism with elements of mystery and the paranormal. It doesn’t preach or espouse any religion, only one man’s questions about faith.

I was warned by the author before reading this novel that I would hate Ariel in the beginning. He was right.

Ariel is a godless man, happily going through the motions. He’s always looking for that next fix, be it woken, alcohol, drugs, and is perfectly happy to keep cruising along living his charmed life. He is self absorbed and only looks out for himself and his own interests.

One small act of charity propels Ariel into a new state of being. He is now visited by an angel and is seeing signs everywhere.

Ari travels from Colorado, searching for signs, looking for Hope, trying to fix his Soul.

This novel is wonderfully written. The scenery and descriptions are vivid and allows the reader to travel with Ari on his travels.

Ari’s mission to find himself is one that many people struggle with. The author writes in such a way that encourages the reader to soul search themselves, to ask many of the same questions that Ari faces.

By mid-novel, I found myself rooting for Ari, hoping that he would continue his search, and that his search would end well.

This novel opens the door to spirituality, with no talk of specific religion. It would be a good book club choice, in that it invites questions and discussions as it shows people’s ability to do better.

I received this novel for free and am leaving this review honestly and voluntarily. Thank you to the author for sitting down with me over coffee and presenting me with this soul searching read.

It’s never too late to find yourself and change your direction in life.

George Hayward
BIBA* Award-winning author George Hayward grew up in the shadow of Boston and lived in six states before settling for good in Colorado. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he was recognized as one of the service’s top journalists in the 1990s. Among his two dozen military journalism awards, he won the Department of Defense’s Thomas Jefferson Award for editorials and commentaries in 1991 and was the Air Force’s journalist of the year in 1993. He left the service in 1999 and has worked primarily in public relations since, including media relations for NASA, corporate gigs in Los Angeles and Hawaii, and four rewarding years at a nonprofit serving veterans. Today, when not writing, he focuses his p.r. work on public service—local government and nonprofits. His books SOUL AFFLICTED and THE PARTY DOLLS are vastly different works—a fiction novel of spiritual self-discovery bordering on the paranormal, and the award-winning*, true-history account of a tortured and tragic escape from a Hanoi prison. Yet both delve into the conscience and consequences of personal choices, of right and wrong, and the gray areas in between.
* 2021 Best Indie Book Award for Nonfiction Military History.

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