Reviews & Interviews

Gem-Like Wonder

The micro and macro meet and resonate, in this small gem-like book from Emily B. Scialom, Eternal Artist. Here and there a sentence might shimmer with meaning, or on first sight be harder to grasp, like ripples on a pool, but they all subtly affect their surroundings and in turn the reader. Poetic, profound, funny – highly recommended.

A SOMERSET author is hoping to turn her debut novel into a film – after she was approached by an American company following her involvement with The London Book Fair.

To mark the launch of her second novel. The Rivers, Cambridge author Emily Scialom reflects on the waterways both real and metaphorical which run through the story.

A Manifesto of Peace and Love

Emily’s surname is pronounced ‘Shalom’, meaning ‘Peace’, which is entirely appropriate for the message she conveys via this wonderful book. Strangely the first chapter reminded me of Candide, due to the protagonist’s almost noble (if wrong-headed) determination to not engage with the world. But when that world is shattered, and the curtain is pulled back to reveal…. (well, I’ll not ruin the plot)…. The reappraisal of the meaning of life, and everything is simply stunning. And inspiring. Shalom, Emily, this is a gift to the world.

If you have to buy just one book in your life, let it be this one

I’m not usually one for books. I get very bored of them very quickly, and it has been well over a decade since I’ve managed to finish a book. This book broke the mould for me, big time. Not only did I finish the book, but I also read it in one sitting. I was enthralled from start to finish and felt like I had gone on some spiritual journey by the final page. There were many moments in the book that made me go, “Someone’s put into words how I feel!” And plenty other moments that made me go, “Huh… I’ve never looked at it that way before…”

If you have to buy just one book in your life, let it be this one. I say this wholeheartedly: You owe it to yourself to go on this incredible journey.

Powerful, thoughtful and just WOW!!!

A talented, brave and deeply sensitive author, Emily Scialom writes with brutal honesty, beautiful prose and a wisdom far beyond her years. An exquisite book that makes you think, challenges your existing attitudes, stretches your mind and nourishes your soul. Love this book and can’t wait for more from this amazing new talent!!!!

The Catcher In The Rye; Minus The Nihilism

The Religion of Self-Enlightenment (The Rose) is a timely, and classic novel that I hope will pass into the realms of fictional legend; one day soon. If I had to describe this novel to a potential buyer, than I would describe it as “The Catcher in the Rye” minus the nihilism of the key protagonist in said novel. Whilst it can be argued that the nihilism portrayed from the protagonist in The Catcher in the Rye is only a by-product of youth. The key protagonist Carrick in The Rose, displays none of these attributes at around the same age, and if he does in the slightest; it is only when reflecting back over a former life.

It is for this reason I am convinced that the reader of this review, will understand when having read The Rose that Emily B Scialom must be repenting for her sins from a former life as the writer J D Salinger, and the consequences of having written a novel such as The Catcher in the Rye. With this in mind I am convinced that, if Mark Chapman had of read The Rose rather than the catcher in the rye he would not have shot John Lennon.

Five Stars

Brilliant read. Would recommend to anyone.

I read it in one sitting!

I loved this book. Carrick’s struggles to find an authentic and validating way to self-identify and thus interact meaningfully with the world were as deeply moving and intensely heartfelt as anything I’ve read. The developing relationship between Carrick and Paul was beautifully portrayed.

A very interesting first book, both of ideas, and absolutely on-point characterisations, from a very promising author.


Emily is hoping to head for the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles – if she manages to raise the funds.

An awesome read. I recommend it to you wholeheartedly

This is one of those books that you pick up, glance at the title, and tell yourself that you will read it over the weekend. As the Italian Officer in ‘Allo Allo’ says, ‘what a mistake to make!’, I can assure you that once you have read the first few pages of this novel, your ability to put the book down will be temporarily incapacitated. The reader is immediately hooked; drawn in to the strange and surreal world of the main character as he strives to make sense of the incomprehensible thoughts and actions which haunt him, with ‘haunt’ being the operative word on so many levels. This is a thoroughly fascinating , thought provoking and exciting read. The author has hit on a winning formula here, which should propel this literary offering into the realms of well deserved success. There are strands of T.S Eliot’s ‘Prufrock’ subtly woven into the plot; as Carrick moves towards his ‘eureka’ moment, Strikingly, it is also as if Carrick has the starring role in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, whereby the knowledge he so clearly needs is presented in the metaphorical form of an obelisk. The constant theme is the ambiguity of life: the conceptualisation of the human condition and the sheer frailty of just about everything associated with it: the human spirit in a broken form, but not defeated. It is this sense of juxtaposition, so delightfully delivered by the author, that makes this book an awesome read. I recommend it to you wholeheartedly.

Local Mill Road Author talks about what she’s been up to since she spoke on MRTV back in November 2016. Emily is now promoting her second book The Rivers.


EMILY Scialom, author of The Religion of Self Enlightenment, has released her second novel, The Rivers. The rivers of Cam and The Thames flow freely through Cambridge and London, as do the lives of this plethora of characters.

Filming with Mirva for That’s Cambridge TV. The River Cam inspires local author Emily Scialom. That’s Cambridge TV interviews Emily who talks in depth about her new romance novel, The Rivers.


It tells the story of Carrick Ares, who grows up without a belief in anything, but experiences an existential crisis.The only person to help him is a psychiatrist.Together they explore Carrick’s theories about life and he proceeds to write a new religion, The Religion of Self-Enlightenment, which becomes the expression of his ideology.


The Religion of Self-Enlightenment by Emily Scialom follows Carrick Ares before and after a near-death experience. We meet him just before the accident and get to know him as he was. Before he died, Carrick coasted through life, careful to have no opinions, to have just the right responses to everything so as not to offend anyone, with no real depth to his thoughts or emotions. He was emotionally immature and lived superficially.

Emily Scialom’s debut novel The Religion of Self-Enlightenment packs a punch. At less than 200 pages, one might expect this book to be a quick and easy read. One would be very wrong. Right away, Scialom sets up the world and worldview of main character Carrick with stunning, raw detail.


Waterstones held the first of a regular series of authorial gatherings this month, which saw local writers present their work to the public. “We really wanted to highlight local authors and give you a chance to meet them.” The authors then had eight-minute slots to talk about their work and read excerpts.


Her novel has taken critics by storm, with many drawing comparisons between her tale of a man who starts his own religion after a near-death experience with revered works of literature such as CATCHER IN THE RYE.


Emily Scialom’s debut novel is the compelling tale about a certain Carrick Ares’ experience with death and is also one of the strangest books I’ve ever read – but for all the right reasons.


Cambridge author charts the flow of spirituality with new book. Religion is something that inspires Emily. “I gave my life to God about five years ago,” she notes. “I’m not a conventional religious person in any sense of the word.


Lose yourself in one of our top reading picks from the MBS circuit. Carrick Ares grows up without any particular beliefs in anything. Yet when he suddenly dies in a car accident, he experiences what he feels to be the afterlife.


The Religion of Self Enlightenment tells the story of a man, Carrick Ayres, who has a near-death experience in a car accident and come back to want to know the truth of life. He writes a new religion in order to improve our conscious wisdom.


Cambridge author charts the flow of spirituality with new book. Religion is something that inspires Emily. “I gave my life to God about five years ago,” she notes. “I’m not a conventional religious person in any sense of the word.”


This book is a classic of Near Death Experience literature. It is also a classic of spiritual emergence – how conventional reality breaks down and one is confronted with the liberation of not knowing.


“This is a thoroughly fascinating, thought-provoking and exciting read. The author has hit on a winning formula here, which should propel this literary offering into the realms of well deserved success”


Somerset author, Emily Scialom is top of the book charts.