John M. Spagnoli is the author of Shadowed Soul and How to Grow Worsleya Seeds. Avid gardener, poet, husband and father, he hales from Metropolitan New York and is currently working on a Masters from Mercy College and holds a B.A. in Anthropology from State University of New York, New Paltz. As a successful, self-managing, bi-polar gentleman the author found solutions that have enabled him to form strategies toward leading a joyful life which he has chosen to share in Shadowed Soul. Dedicated to raising awareness about depression, Shadowed Soul is the first in a fictionalized series that includes researched cases of manic-depressives who beat it, as well as some of the author's personal experiences.
Shadowed Soulby John M. Spagnoli, Stephen McCallum (Contribution by)
Shadowed Soul by John M. Spagnoli is a fiction novel about bi-polar Thomas Milton, as he struggles to rebuild his life with the aid of his blind wife's seeing-eye dog, Bailey. The compelling drama follows Thomas and his wife, Beth, as they embrace and endure the birth of their firstborn through the holiday season in New York City. Fears and anxieties that plague Thomas are personified in the form of the Shadowed Soul a demonic specter who stalks the protagonist's every move. As his manic-depression escalates, his expectation for more problems is answered in abundance. His life goes from great to bad to worse. With the unconditional love of watchful Bailey, Thomas grapples with seemingly insurmountable challenges as he chooses to rebuild his shattered life.
Much of the journey through manic-depression is autobiographical, with the exception of the main character's online pornography addiction and the demise of certain relatives. Set in the present, Spagnoli's intention is to depict clinical depression in a way that provides a clear road map to leading a full life
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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite “Shadowed Soul” is a tale that will resonate with many. This is the fictional but realistic tale of Thomas Milton, a man suffering from bi polar/manic depressive syndrome. He was deeply in love with his wife, Beth, who was blind. However, their relationship went farther than love; he was deeply dependent on her. As she lay in the hospital giving birth to their first child he struggled with his strong feelings of hatred toward the child. The emotion seemed to be born out of unfounded worry that Beth might die and he believed he could not exist without her. Perhaps he thought the boy would take Beth’s focus away from him. After the birth of their child Beth and their son moved in with her parents for the safety of the child. On his own except for Beth’s Seeing Eye dog, Bailey, Thomas spiraled downward into a world that became darker. He envisioned his depression as an entity that he could talk with and he named it the 'Shadowed Soul'. This book held me captive from the first page to the last. John M. Spagnoli opens a window through which the reader can peer into the mind of a bi polar/ manic depressive. Few people have any understanding of the illness, the symptoms or the behavior that goes along with it. The author uses metaphors, analogies and vivid descriptions in demonstrating the way the mind of a person with this mental illness works. This book offers hope to those suffering from this disease and to their family.