My True Essence by Shawneda Marks is a heart wrenching tale of three women, Rebecca, Danielle, and Jenessa,who in the process of dealing with the reality of breast cancer in their lives,establish an unbreakable bond. Amidst the trials that accompany the diagnosis of the disease, these three women must continue with their daily agendas, although it can never be business as usual again,and yet find ways to conquer the disease's effect on their lives. Mrs. Marks is very thorough in making the reader feel, and understand the women's pain. Each of the characters deals with both emotional, and physical trauma as they accept the diagnosis of the disease for themselves, or for their loved one. Pondering the possibility of an untimely death, while struggling with issues of faith, and healing,what treatments to endure, and what treatments to refuse, the women embark on a spiritual/physical journey they would have never imagined for themselves. They travel on individual paths, making decisions on everything from whether or not to have a mastectomy, to chemotherapy, how to deal with romantic relationships, and how to embrace life, no matter how difficult, along the way.The story captures the very essence of a woman, and what truly makes her a woman. Clearly, Mrs. Marks illustrates to the reader that it is not a woman's body, and in particular, certainly not her breasts, but it is a woman's soul which makes her who she is.
Ashea Goldson (Christian fiction author)