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Manny Sousa’s “Passing Through” is more than a memoir; it’s a heartfelt invitation to ponder the profound mysteries of faith. From military service to personal tribulations, Sousa’s narrative is both engaging and spiritually enlightening. The book serves as a conduit for readers to explore their own relationship with the divine, emphasizing the importance of sharing our stories to uplift and strengthen one another in the journey of faith.

The author is very open with what he has experience in his life. this is something which can greatly appeal to readers. This can help them to feel a personal connection to the author and find a direct relationship between what has happened in their own lives.

I really enjoy the writing style, and the story has all the makings of a great movie! It has all action, romance, and live drama of that legendary movie ‘Bridges at Toko Ri’.

Pacific Book Review

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Passing Through: Exploring the Envelope, Part One

Passing Through Exploring the Envelope, Part One, is a beautifully rendered memoir about author Captain Manny Sousa, a former naval aviator who was tasked with flying the first carrier-based nuclear bombers in Western Pacific deployments during the remainder of the Cold War.

Manny was born in 1932 into an Army family during the Great Depression, and lived during World War II, the Korean War, and the Cold War. He attended Baker Village Grammar School, which was a county school in Columbus, before his family later moved to Germany. In February 1951, he went to Frankfurt to take the physical exam for the Navy ROTC scholarship. Although he was frequently challenged by unstable blood pressure, he beautifully managed to go through a second trial to become a primary candidate for the Navy.

Manny believes that his triumphs in life could not have been possible without the intervention of a heavenly-sent being, his deceased aunt Jean, who revealed herself to him in 1969. Apart from disclosing to him that she hadn’t committed suicide, as many had concluded, she also informed him that she could see his future and it was possible to change it. That encounter, which introduced him to a reliable helper and guide, had Manny begin a mission of telling his story to encourage other believers to more consciously recognize and easily welcome similar spiritual experiences.

This real-life story has been given a fiction-like feel right from the first page and throughout the book. Readers will love this unique approach as well as the very informative Q&A sessions, conducted by a highly improbable character. The protagonist is well-fleshed out, and his story has been revealed in a cohesive yet artful manner. The structure of this memoir beats with the necessary rhythm and, as such, pulls the readers in deeply with every new page.

In Passing Through Exploring the Envelope, Part One, the author ably utilizes all the devices and craft elements that novelists use. He takes readers with him on an unforgettable journey through his vast thirty-one years in the Navy while allowing himself to be vulnerable concerning his children and failed marriages. This is a memoir which will entertain and inspire readers in a very effective and distinctive manner. A fantastic choice for your next read!

Reviewed by
Ephantus M., Pacific Book Review

Hollywood Book Review

The first part of Captain Manny Sousa’s autobiography offers a unique and captivating journey through the life of a distinguished military officer. The book covers Captain Sousa’s life from 1932 to 1971, including his experiences during the Vietnam War. The narrative is facilitated by a 2027 interview conducted by Captain Sousa’s son, Michael, making it unique and a deviation from a traditional first-person narration. The dialogue between Captain Sousa and his son is well-crafted, and the exchange between them effectively sets the stage for exploring the author’s experiences. It gives a Tuesdays with Morrie vibe. The book offers a perfectly balanced rough around the edges but still seamlessly flowing story.

Passing Through stands out not only for its historical insights but also for its spiritual dimension. Captain Sousa shares his intimate connection with Jean, a significant presence in his life since birth, even after she died in 1949. The spiritual encounters, conveyed through unspoken messages, omens, and agreements, add an intriguing aspect to the book. The author is a no-holds-barred kind of person. He knows that he is not infallible and demonstrates it by candidly discussing his history’s positive and negative aspects. The book bravely highlights the grey areas of decision-making, providing a balanced perspective on Captain Sousa’s choices and actions.

Even without seeing his credentials, one can tell that the author is an Army man. The writing in Passing Through: Exploring the Envelope is straightforward, with a conscious effort to eliminate unnecessary details and maintain simplicity. Sousa’s sincerity and simplicity shine through as he shares personal insights, spiritual experiences, and reflections on his actions. The use of simple words and sentences contributes to the clarity and accessibility of the story. The narrative is well-organized, and the dialogue effectively engages the reader in the unfolding story.

Although the inclusion of the fictional storyline in a factual memoir might be challenging for some readers and was bold, the author took time to help the reader understand why. This demonstrated a deliberate and thoughtful disposition which will be well appreciated. This genuine quality is also exhibited by the author’s willingness to confront his past with honesty and openness which adds authenticity to the story.

Passing Through is an engaging and thought-provoking read for those interested in personal memoirs and spiritual journeys. Captain Sousa’s reflections on his life, questioning why he was saved, and finding purpose in sharing his story, provides a poignant message. He invites reflection on the complexities of human experience, the impact of choices, and the enduring influence of spiritual connections.

This is a very important book, not just because it insists that writing memoirs has therapeutic and nostalgic benefits as well as a valuable and encouraging sentiment. But also, because it prompts an honest self-reflection and makes for interesting conversations. Not to mention that it is an enjoyable and immersive literary experience. Captain Sousa’s first installment is well done. It is deserving of notable mention.

Reviewed by
Aaron Washington., Hollywood Book Review