Friday, November 6, 2015

Lively Pieces for the Christian Year

52 Original Wisdom Stories: Short Lively Pieces for the Christian Year

The publisher's blurb refers to this devotional book as "unique and life affirming," and in this case the marketing team is exactly right. Sid and Rosie, an older couple participating in the daily adventures of life, will both enchant and encourage you as you encounter them in these little parables. 

Having read some of Penelope's other novels, I knew that she is capable of exploring wide, high, deep truths through simple "fictional characters." I hate to call them fiction, though, because she renders them so realistically. They're fully human, clumsy and flawed, and they want to live well, so they try hard to find the rhythm of kindness and joy. 

Sid is a Quaker, having come to this path later in life. For him, the idea that Jesus is the Way is of primary importance. No amount of religion can make a Way- and a Way is what we need to walk in. Sid is slow to speak, and sensitive, and provides a sounding board for Rosie. 

Rosie is a self-professed spiritual ragamuffin, having worked her way through many faiths and their teachings as an adult before she met Sid. She is curious, passionate, and ever open to new ways of thinking. Together, they're an encyclopedia of quotes and insights from God-chasers and Life-lovers the world over. 

And we readers get to snoop into their days, eavesdropping on their stimulating conversations and witnessing the satisfaction they find in being together on this good earth. From Rosie making bread to Sid quoting poetry, to interpersonal misunderstandings and the required forgiving, their shared moments are ordinary. Yet they've determined to look up the sunbeams to the Sun, and to recognize the glory that grows in the ground and falls from the sky and lights up each other's faces. 

They'd be good friends to have, Sid and Rosie, friends who don't pretend to have God in a box, who aren't stuffed with sureness about God's will, but who do believe that God has given a Way, and they put their small feet on it and walk. 

If you're looking for a little wisdom, and a few smiles, and some new thoughts to chew on, then try this as a devotional. I don't see how you'd regret it. 

I thank Penelope Wilcock and Monarch Publishing for gifting me this book in exchange for a review. 

Penelope says:
"My aim in writing is to make goodness attractive. I love simple human kindness and gentleness, and I am moved by human vulnerability. I am fascinated by the power that is within our grasp to lift one another up, to heal and strengthen and encourage each other - our power to bless.
In the novels I write, I think of the reader sitting down to enjoy a book, the door of their imagination open wide to allow the story in to influence and shape their spirit. I accept the responsibility that confers as a great privilege, and it is my intention that when you put down any book of mine at the end of reading it, you will feel hopeful, peaceful and comforted, more ready to look on your fellow human beings with compassion and see their point of view."

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