Sunday, February 22, 2015

prodigal father wayward son: review

prodigal father, wayward son cover Because I remembered noticing and loving the title of Sam Keen's "To A Dancing God" in a church library somewhere, and from the brief description of these conversations between father and son, I had to read Prodigal Father/Wayward Son: A Roadmap to Reconciliation. John Bradshaw observed, "This universal and archetypal [conflict] is the inheritance of us all." We've all got parent stuff, there are countless unknown to us events and factors in their histories; just as no one instinctively knows how to make a marriage or any other relationship work out well, no one truly knows how to parent, even if they already have several kids.

I've watched public television only very sporadically, doubtless missing out on a lot of cool exciting stuff, so I wasn't really familiar with Sam Keen. So surprised to discover he'd been a professor at The Louisville Seminary! How telling his description of the seminary professors way back then all dressed up in suits and ties (with nowhere to go), so incredibly business-financial sector establishment in style, yet called to articulate and convey the radically counter-cultural subversive gospel.

Another reviewer described this father/son – parent/offspring conversation as timeless, and that it is. Both guys are intelligent, educated, excellent writers, and had reached the point they wanted to live reconciled and reconnected to each other, but even if someone's credentials aren't as strong as theirs, Sam's and Gifford's experience models "what might be possible" between any family members at almost any stage, and between friends who might have become estranged (though "estranged" isn't quite the accurate word to describe Father and Son Keen's situation). Look through the panoramas of your own relationships, and like the Keens, you well may note how small, fleeting events or incidents have assumed gigantically symbolic proportions in your overview of your lives together and apart from each other.

Even if you don't buy the book, please watch the video on Gifford's amazon page. Prodigal Father, Wayward Son is a keeper for my bookshelves, and probably a loaner, too.

my amazon review: a keeper and a loaner

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Twice in a Lifetime

Twice In a Lifetime by Marta Perry on Powell's.

twice in a lifetime book cover
Twice in a Lifetime weaves together history, inspiration, love, mystery, southern family, possibilities…

I picked up Twice in a Lifetime because of the wonderful painting on the cover, and then noticed its setting in South Carolina and in a beach community. I knew I'd enjoy the scenery even if the story didn't move me, but as it turned out, I loved the characters and their individual stories.

There's the beachfront house on one of Charleston's barrier islands, Georgia Lee's employment in Atlanta, Georgia, a tenderly close grandmother and granddaughter, and my own imaginings that life in the American South still is quieter and simpler than elsewhere. The characters attend church and participate in vacation bible school, but Twice in a Lifetime isn't majorly in-your-face religious—it's simply simple Christianity as an integral part of everyday life. The romance that easily happened between Georgia Lee and single dad Matt (who without a doubt was far from the on-the-take northern lawyer family and reader both imagined him to be at first glance) had just enough suspense to be intriguing.

Marta Perry's prose is clean and well-edited. Although this is first in a series about the Bodine family, I'm happy to consider it a standalone narrative, as I'm not sure I want to be disappointed if the Bodine family future doesn't turn out as I'd like it to. In short? The degree of southernness totally was to my liking, and Twice in a Lifetime definitely merits a future re-reading.

my amazon review: southern, likable, and re-readable