4 out of 4 stars
In Unveiling the Truth by Helen Dantas, Beatriz is a Brazilian woman struggling to find herself. The opening of the book is Beatriz traveling to Winnipeg to visit her friend. Beatriz ends up staying in Vancouver longer than expected as an opportunity arises, and she is both excited to start this new life and homesick for South America. After a few years of living in Winnipeg, Beatriz meets Omar, a young Muslim man. A relationship ensues, and the couple eventually marries.
The couple decides to move to Vancouver, then to Toronto to advance their careers and monetary opportunities. Through these decisions, Beatriz realizes that her marriage is not the equal partnership she hoped it would be. Genders are viewed differently in different cultures, and gender roles have different definitions in Pakistan and Brazil. Beatriz grows increasingly unhappy in her marriage and must make difficult choices. Will Beatriz and Omar work through their disagreements? Will Beatriz stay close with her family still in Brazil? Will the couple move to Pakistan? Only time will tell in this memoir.
I enjoyed this book and felt that I learned a lot. I understood previously that multicultural relationships are complicated, but this book helped put the issue into perspective for me. I felt connected to Beatriz immediately and felt sorry for her and the mess she got herself into. I feel this book was written with the thought of “hindsight is 20/20,” as Beatriz is writing about her life and her progression into an abusive relationship. It would have been interesting to read from the perspective of Omar as well, but this one-sided account was a good storyline.
This book is professionally edited, with no grammatical errors or typos that I noticed. I cannot even imagine leaving my home country to live in a much colder and lonely place, and Beatriz makes this move with such nonchalance that I am in awe. I am confused whether this is a memoir about Beatriz or a fictional story about Beatriz and her life. It doesn’t matter either way, but the epilogue with the letter to Beatriz’ daughters left me confused. She is such a strong woman, fictional or not, and I really enjoyed this book because of her courage.
I give Unveiling the Truth by Helen Dantas 4 out of 4 stars, for its excellent writing flow, a wonderful main character, interesting conflict, and intriguing storyline. I recommend this book for anyone looking for a strong female character looking to understand to a multicultural relationship or relate to his or her own multicultural relationship.
BOOK CLUB – Stony Bridges – RTO/ERO North York
Retired Teachers of Ontario – District 23
“Reading the book, I knew our book club had to have Helen come and be our guest speaker. She was an excellent presenter, telling us about the challenges facing Beatriz and explaining customs that are very different from our own. Helen was very open to questions and enjoyed sharing her honest answers with us. It was very beneficial for us to have all read the book before meeting Helen. This made dialogue with Helen more meaningful. Congratulations on this first book. Some of us wondered if there would be a sequel so that we could see how Beatriz and family manage in the future.”
Anne Marum – Book Club Member
“I am deeply touched by your beautiful and heartbreaking story. I would like to congratulate you on your courage to share your personal experiences. Your gentle and engaging style of writing is a powerful tool that will reach many readers. I am certain your words will heal and profoundly impact many people. It is my hope that your tale will provide comfort and wisdom to women who may feel trapped in an unhappy partnership. I am proud to call you my friend, you are a remarkable woman and a shining literary light!”
“Unveiling the Truth provides a great insight into the unexpected challenges and misunderstandings that can arise within intercultural relationships. Although the story concerns some sensitive issues, it is written in such a funny, witty way that it made me laugh and smile at many passages, making the book extremely compelling and hard to put down. A real must read!”
“This is an amazing book written with a lot of courage and magic touch that keeps you reading it with avidity and interest. Helen, you are a tremendous heart!!! Congratulations!!!”
Albert E. Vella and Teresa
“A Great story that reveals the reality of multicultural challenges that the new society faces nowadays. The book is a journey into the multifaceted dimensions of culturally established prints that are impossible to ignore or to try to minimize. Unveiling the Truth is more than a novel. It is a deep view of the difficulties and limitations of multicultural relationships! Very well written and enlightening! Deserves to be transformed into a movie!”
“Unveiling the Truth is a book written with emotion and sincerity. The marriage between people of different religions and cultures is a difficult topic to address. The author has managed to develop a touching and interesting story while exposing the everyday situations that make a living together harder4 when it involves people from dramatically opposed worlds. Sometimes, not even love can overcome the differences between different cultures. I recommend reading it.”
“This book is a fluent and seductive narrative that makes us uneasy at the outcome of ever-surprising situations. Everything is very lively and dynamic enough to turn the reader into an eyewitness of the story told. We want more, Helen!”
“I am actually writing to congratulate you on the work in general and also congratulations on your courage and your overcoming; I imagine that it was not easy to get to the point of writing the book by telling your intimate life and exposing your problems, weaknesses and personal pains. You did all this beauty with a very touching work! I also sincerely hope that your story will help other people, especially women, get rid of any chain that is trapped!”
“Not even love can overcome the differences between different cultures. Unveiling the Truth is a book written with emotion and sincerity. The marriage between people of different religions and cultures is a difficult topic to address. The author has managed to develop a touching and interesting story while exposing the everyday situations that make a living together harder when it involves people from dramatically opposed worlds. Sometimes, not even love can overcome the differences between different cultures. I recommend reading it.”
“At any given time, I have three to four books that I am leisurely reading through, picking one as the mood suits me. But not for “Unveiling the Truth”! Once I started, I did not want to put it down. Helen Dantas has written her first novel in the first person interjecting a few letters between friends and family. The story begins with a young lady who chooses to leave her family and her home for a grand adventure. Carefully the decades of her life are revealed. “Unveiling” is a very personal story about the challenges in relationships, what drives us to them, what keeps us in them, and what can pull them apart. Having said that, this is a story told as one would hear from a friend in need of an ear, quiet joy, subdued reality and silent desperation. I was captivated by the story because it is so personal and simply told. There is no magical conclusion, but it is well worth the read and the peak behind our neighbour’s veil and perhaps even in different attire, behind our own. I really enjoyed this story.”
“This real story novel is fantastic. It really shows how love may lead you to dark places, and the price to pay for jumping into a relationship that is forbidden by certain cultures. The book is very well written and extremely interesting. Once you start reading it, you may not be able to put down until it’s finished.”
“A Great Story! Helen Dantas does an excellent job of conveying the challenges faced not only in arriving at a new country but in finding oneself in a difficult marriage. The cultural clashes the protagonist is faced with mirror many of the issues found today in our society. Dantas handles these delicate themes with extreme poise and opens a window into what is for many an unknown world. A must read.”