Book Review: Close Calls: My life of Unseen Miracles by Shyamala Prayaga
Do you believe in miracles? Or is life simply full of coincidences and happenstance for you? What is a miracle exactly? Are they available to anyone or only a select few? In her first memoir, Shyamala Prayaga shares her personal story and relationship with miracles.
On the surface, she’s a tech engineer from India who’s had a blessed life, a successful career, and a loving family supporting her along the way. But looking closer, we witness a woman who’s faced the kinds of hardship, trauma, and challenges that would bring many to their knees. Yet, through it all, the synchronicities that have aligned to save her life more than once could only be called miraculous.
In this combination of personal story and philosophical book of wisdom and faith, Prayaga touches the reader’s heart and helps her embrace a deeper truth that’s available to each of us: miracles are everywhere and available to anyone. We only need to look.
Whether it was when she was a young child in India walking alone at an hour of day when the streets were deserted, or a young woman defying the norms of her culture to ensure her personal freedom, or an ambitious adult pursuing her dreams and passion, there was something there protecting her, supporting her, and showing her the way forward when she couldn’t see it for herself. But being blessed with miracles doesn’t mean an easy life, nor being immune from depression, anxiety, stress or other human emotions that cut us off from the will to live. Her journey back to living in alignment with life is also revealed, along with the practical tools she received that helped her heal.
Close Calls is well written. The author coach in Lori Anne would love to have seen into Prayaga’s world through her eyes more by showing more of her stories rather than telling about them, but for a first memoir, it’s written with wisdom and soul.
It’s not often that we are reminded of things like, “It does not matter that you cry. What matters is what you do after you cry.” Or get to hear descriptions about life that so perfectly fit that feeling we’ve all experienced, “Sometimes living is like hanging from the side of a cliff with your fingernails dug into the crevice of the rock. You can do nothing more than hold on. But a time will come when you’ll realize you can let go… and that you’ve had parachute on all along.” Yet they are words that flow across the page and bond us with each other across time and space.
If you’re looking for a great weekend read that will uplift your spirits, remind you that you’re not alone in your struggles, and bring you back to the magic that life holds, Close Calls is worth curling up with.
We're giving it a 4 out of 5 for it's authenticity, courage and wisdom. You can find Prayaga's book on Amazon. Or, you can learn more about the woman behind the book in the author interview we did with her here.