In Painted Dreams, Dr. Jo Hanna Mechergui, an educator, therapist, and administrator, shares stories that renewed her faith in God. As she states in the book: “Through my experiences I hope this book will provide you with the motivation of [sic] living your dreams.”
In the preface, Mechergui writes, “Painted Dreams has given color to my prayers. It gives a visual picture to prayers that only God can paint.” This sentiment may be unclear until readers find this quote by Van Gogh, set as an epigram, two pages later: “I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.”
Mechergui attended Oprah Winfrey’s Growth Summit and attributes her spiritual growth to “following Oprah’s path.” Painted Dreams appears to reflect Oprah’s teachings on following dreams and biblical truths.
The book contains 46 stories and a summary chapter titled, “Lessons Learned/Reaching Our Dreams.” Each anecdote has a spiritual application. In the story, “Broken Promises,” for example, Mechergui tells of her absentee father’s broken promises to her as a child. She closes the story with the affirmation that God keeps his promises, as stated in Isaiah.
This story and several others engage readers. Unfortunately, many of the anecdotes do not tap into readers’ emotions or imaginations. When dialogue is used, it’s frequently stilted. An example: “But my dear one, I am your mother, and it is my responsible [sic] to select your name, but I guess you can help me this time around.” Weak sentence structures, typos, and grammatical errors further diminish the narrative’s effectiveness. A back cover example reads, “Let God continued [sic] to blessed [sic] my readers and myself [sic] and provide us with divine spiritual guidance.” And from page 34: “She never volunteered information or waste [sic] words.”
The lack of editing is likely to deter potential readers of Painted Dreams. However, those who can persevere, particularly fans of Oprah and readers who enjoy anecdotes with biblical applications, may find some inspiration in these pages.
Also available in ebook and hardcover.