Spiritual Courage in the Face of Toxic Harassment The Twisted Circle tells the story of Sister Barbara, a nun who has just transferred to a convent in the northern jungle region of Guyana to teach school. Like the other nuns, she cares very much about the students. Her sudden promotion to the position of headmistress […]
JoAnne Macco, now retired, has worked for thirty years as a mental health therapist, specialized in addictions and codependency. Growing up in a military family, she lived in six U.S. states and Canada. Her love for nature, art, and writing became the constants in her life. In her first book, Trust the Timing: A Memoir of Finding Love Again, Macco tells the story of how her high school sweetheart found her thirty-nine years later when the timing was perfect. She blogs at “Anything is Possible!” where she writes about relationships, spirituality, and hope. She lives with her husband in North Carolina. Learn more at https://joannaoftheforest.wordpress.com/about/
After starting the New Year in a fight with the coronavirus Omicron variant and its after-effects, it was a surprise and joy to read Ken Puddicombe’s review of my novel, The Twisted Circle.
Guyanese born, American domiciled author Rosaliene Bacchus follows up her first book—Under The Tamarind Tree with another set in the only English speaking country of Guyana in South America. While the first is centered on events occurring mainly in the capital Georgetown, The Twisted Circle is set in the North West district, a region of the country bordering Venezuela on the west and sparsely inhabited mainly by the native Amerindian tribes. Both books, however, dwell on the post-independence period of the country, a period of turmoil, racial conflict, and endemic corruption.
Excerpt from Book Review by Ken Puddicombe, January 23, 2022
Ken Puddicombe is a Guyana-born author of two historical novels Racing With the Rain (2012) and Junta (2014), a collection of short stories Down Independence Boulevard & Other Stories (2017), and a poetry collection Unfathomable & Other Poems. He lives in Toronto, Canada, where he owns and runs a small press.
This captivating novel throws the reader into the backroom dealings of a place of true believers: a convent in Guyana of four decades past. We soon discover that religious faith is not a guarantee of noble character.
Rosaliene Bacchus, a Guyanese native and herself a former nun, knows the tropical and impoverished locale from the inside. Here are souls no different and no more psychologically settled than those of us not privy to what it is like to live within a community of women devoted to God. Sexism, racial prejudice, the Sisters’ unfulfilled dreams, and political unrest further complicate their earnest attempt to serve others and fulfill the tenants of their faith. Nor does the author fence the reader off from the challenges of celibacy.
Rosaliene Bacchus set herself a considerable task. She offers us three principal dramatic settings: the convent, a public school where her protagonist teaches, and the outer world of Catholic Priests, indigenous peoples, and government officials. Once the reader becomes familiar with the many characters, the novel’s action moves swiftly.
I am grateful to the author for an enlightening and enjoyable experience. May she go from strength to strength.
Amazon Review by American Reader Tod Verklärung, posted on December 11, 2021.
There is no betrayal quite like religious betrayal, and there is no circadian cycle quite like this twisted circle. What makes [The Twisted Circle] more poignant is knowing the author draws from some of her own experience having been in a religious Catholic community for seven years. The novel is written in a fast pace that carries the reader along places, encounters, and historical events around the 70’s and 80’s in Guyana where the author was born. Read more at “The Books of 2021.”
R.H. (RUSTY) FOERGER is a Canadian award-winning retired fire office and former lay pastor, teacher, missionary, and mentor for over 33 years. He blogs at "More Enigma Than Dogma."
5.0 out of 5 Stars:A young nun’s journey through the minefields of politics, poverty, and the Roman Catholic Church
The Twisted Circle is rich and vivid with the descriptions of people, places, geography, and unfortunately the politics of Rosaliene Bacchus’ native Guyana during the tumultuous Seventies and Eighties. Told from the vantage point of a young nun and schoolteacher, Sister Barbara, serving in a rural, poverty-stricken area, this novel also renders the very fabric of the Roman Catholic Church and exposes behind the scenes interpersonal relationships which at times are as dirty and vicious as the period of political turmoil. Rosaliene’s characters are as well-fleshed out as her descriptions. I highly recommend this novel.
~ AMAZON REVIEW, NOVEMBER 10, 2021, BY DON MILLER, AN AMERICAN INDIE AUTHOR OF SEVERAL BOOKS. DON LIVES IN SOUTH CAROLINA, USA.
Read Rosaliene Bacchus’ second novel The Twisted Circle when you have a completely free weekend, because you may not be able to put it down. Set in a tropical Guyana, South America, the story based on the country’s history follows a Catholic nun about to take her vows who teaches in a rural school. The […]
This book, The Twisted Circle, is an amazing heartfelt journey of a young devout sister, Barbara, in Guyana. She begins her chosen path pure in her faith and devotion. She is immediately sexually harassed by her first priest and in escaping him, she transfers to a remote school that devours her with its own demented jealousies and hidden abusive practices. Her struggle, like all of our struggles, is goodness trying to move forward despite serious roadblocks and the ill will of those who can only express pain and destruction. Her story shows what bravery can look like when faced by insurmountable odds. A misogynistic church run by men and women who have sold their souls to keep the old ways in place offers her no help or protection. This is a place where children are hurt.
Losing becomes swift and heartless. And it does not differentiate between the good and the evil. Barbara must face the reality of what her world has become. You will come away with a marvelous memory of characters that breathe off the page and true heroism that lives on after all is lost.
~ AMAZON REVIEW, AUGUST 29, 2021, BY DAN McNAY, AMERICAN AUTHOR OF FIVE NOVELS. DAN LIVES IN LOS ANGELES, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, USA.
The second proof copy of my novel The Twisted Circle arrived on July 26th. I rejoiced that I had succeeded in aligning all the elements on the back cover and in centering the book title on the spine. After I confirmed the fourth and final revised version, Lulu has approved my book for global distribution. I jump up in exhilaration.
I must now endure an eight-week waiting process while retailers—Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Ingram—access if my book production files meet their standards. Lulu alerted that the ISBN barcode on the back cover is a big issue for global distributors. My barcode differs from those printed on books by major book publishers. Apprehension has moved in.
The process for creating an eBook demands a different formatting process. I rejoiced on learning that there is no need for those pesky headers and footers used in printed books. Instead, I must contend with creating headings: Heading 1 for the title and Heading 2 for each chapter. Little did I know that there are so many rules for formatting headings! When done correctly, the Table of Contents is automatically created when the MS DOCX file is uploaded to the EPUB file format. Like the ISBN barcode, the Table of Contents is crucial for acceptance in the global book distribution network. With guidance received from a member of Lulu’s customer support team, I’ll be spending this week grinding my teeth as I work with the MS Word program for generating chapter headings.
All is not bleak. The printed version of The Twisted Circle is available for sale on Lulu.com at Rosaliene’s Shop. You can order your copy now. If all goes well, the book’s official release date will be in late September when the printed book would also be available in the global book distribution network.
There’s more good news. I’ve received my first book review from Guyanese American author Stella Bagot, a retired English professor who lives in Maryland. Bagot’s review is of special significance for me as she is also a former Catholic nun. She writes:
[T]he author successfully conveys the austerity, religious and sisterly practices, and the complexity of living in a religious community with a variety of personalities. She also captures the tensions that arise in a small (rural) community rife with gossip and overshadowed by a culture of fear of authoritarianism.
Her characters, both the religious and the laity, are realistically drawn and are consistent. Her main characters are rounded, exhibiting both positive and negative traits, with even the antagonist being sympathetically portrayed at times. One cannot but be struck by the realism of the novel…. The rich and smooth dialogue also deserves mention…
Bacchus succeeds in evoking an emotional response in the reader…. All in all, The Twisted Circle is an engaging read…