Book Review: Zen and Now by Dreama Denver

A Love Story

In late 2021, I met Dreama Denver at a book signing held at her publisher’s booth during the Southern Christmas Show in Charlotte North Carolina. Soon we discovered we had a few things in common. Both of us lost the love of our life , our soulmate, and wrote a book about them.
Mine was ‘The Loss World’ for my husband Michael, which later became a play and now a short film. Dreama’s was ‘Gilligan’s Dreams: The Other Side of the Island’ about the gifted actor Bob Denver, who charmed the world with his wit and smile and silliness as the loveable Gilligan, of the classic TV series Gilligan’s Island. ( Maynard G. Krebs was before my time). Gilligan was a staple in our household, and as we talked, I felt a strong connection to this amazing woman.
I left with a copy of ‘Gilligan’s Dreams’, which recounts her marriage to America’s most endearing character and the challenges of raising an acutely autistic son, and also a copy of her children’s book, ‘Four Bears in a Box‘.
I consumed the first, noting many similarities, the most pronounced of course was their great love for one another, facing challenges with courage amid the fear. The second, ‘Four Bears in a Box’, was a book of pure imagination that Bob had a huge hand in. I have some very creative nieces and nephews I knew would benefit and they love it.
I highly recommend both.
Most recently, Dreama has penned a third book that requires a large box of tissues and a quiet moment to reflect. It is a simple story of love. Unconditional and total. It’s also a gentle spiritual story. Not preaching, but a loving message for us all.
A mere 80 pages in length, including two pages of recipes for Zen’s favorite dog treats, it is a fast read and one any dog parent would love, myself included.
Told mostly through the eyes of Zen, Dreama’s rescue dog, it reflects the world through his eyes, mind and heart. The sweetness of ‘storytime with Mom’ is captured with childlike joy. Zen’s perspective of the lockdown during Covid will leave you smiling, and most likely you will be completely in tune with the events and coping mechanisms employed.
To be read out loud to your children at night offers many moments for discussion about love, events, life. There are gentle lessons in each of the pages, which can lead to real conversation. It ends on a note of hope, which for me, means everything.
Dreama rescued many cats and dogs over the years, and when she found herself without a fur companion, the stars aligned and Zen came into her life and inspired this lovely tale.
Read this charming book (link below). It is for you, the children in your life and the beautiful creatures covered in fur that add so much to our existence.

Mary London Szpara

After 20 years in radio, Mary London Szpara hung up her rock and roll DJ and programming stilettos to become a full time voice actor, mimic, audio editor, producer, and executive producer of a syndicated radio show And Then There Was That with Sonny Hollywood Chase. Her writing skills were enhanced over the years as she wrote creative copy for radio ads, and then put pen to paper after the death of her husband and soul-mate. Her book The Loss World (Amazon) has become a stage play The Loss World Monologues and most recently, a short film has just been completed. She has produced 2 metal cd's, Metal Mythos Vol 1 & 2, and continues to work with musicians on a regular basis.

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