Dyed Souls by Gary Santorella

Dyed Souls by Gary Santorella


‘My mom leans back, smiles, and strokes my cheek. “That’s all right, Charlie. Never you mind. You just got soft living with your grandparents, is all. You forgot that most people don’t have it so easy—that you have to be tough to make it in this world.”’

Set in the 1980’s, Dyed Souls follows the life of 13-year-old Charlie; an intelligent, troubled teen, taken from his grandparents by his drug addicted mother, only to end up at Hawthorne Residential Treatment Village.

There he ponders Darwin, Socrates, and Plato, and unexpectedly falls in love with a girl named Margo. When she breaks his heart, Charlie runs away, beginning a new journey that will leave him shattered before he finally makes it to Virginia. Back with his grandparents, the return of his mother forces him to learn a bitter truth that changes his life forever.

Dyed Souls is a thought-provoking, gritty novel that will appeal to fans of literary fiction and philosophical literature. A coming-of-age novel, it is suitable for both young adult and adult readers.


Dyed Souls by Gary Santorella is a classic in philosophical literature.  A very touching 5 star, must-read story

Poor Charles!  My motherly instincts wanted to wrap my arms around him and take care of him forever… and that is great writing!  From the first page until the last Santorella invites us deep into the psyche of a troubled teenage boy.  I wondered all the way through this book if it was the author’s own story because it reads much like an autobiographical novel, especially the last chapter.  On reflection, I believe there is a mix of truth and fiction in this tale, whether that stems from personal knowledge in some way or from massive research doesn’t matter, was this truth – or very cleverly written fiction, does is make this a book that moved me and brought tears to my eyes.

With thoroughly compelling characters, and Gary Santorella’s eloquent and sensitive writing style you will find it hard to put this book out of your mind once you have put it down.

Charles is a recluse, retreating from his pain and loneliness into a world of books and internal dialogue.  Abandoned, yet again, by his drug addicted mother, he tries to crawl into a shell of words and learning.  Some parts of the story, Charles’ discoveries are very philosophical and deep as he struggles to understand what life is all about.  There are a number of strong characters in the book.  Margo, what a poor mixed up girl, yet his love of her helps to bring Charles out of isolation.  Javier, was another strong teenager that helped to bring more depth and meaning into Charles life which encourages him to start really noticing his peers for the first time since arriving at the Residential Treatment Village.

The blurb does not carry a warning of rape content and I believe it should, this is a ‘trigger’ that some readers cannot read.  That said, the very short scene is done simply without graphics, and is integral to the storyline.

There is one beautiful line in the book that for me sums up this emotional story… “The soul would have no rainbow, if the eyes had no tears.”

This novel is a movingheart-felt masterpiece that deserves a place on your bookcase. Dyed Souls by Gary Santorella is highly recommended by Artisan Book Reviews.

Purchase Dyed Souls by Gary Santorella today!
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