Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Final Day FREE! 5✫ +++ “CHOOSING to BE is a BRILLIANT Read!"

"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye,” wrote Antoine de Saint-Exupery. As I read Book Two of The Naomi Chronicles, I thought of that quote and how much it applied to Naomi’s journey to find herself, her faith, her home, and her happiness. 

She starts her quest at a very low point in her life: a victim of a spiteful and vengeful act, Naomi is hurt, confused, ashamed, and hiding in her friend's car being whisked away from her home. Her despair is so deep that Naomi never even bothers to ask her friend where he’s taking her. Before long, she finds herself in Wawayanda State Park among strangers.

Upon her arrival, she feels that no one cares about her, her soul is frail, and her faith is shaky. She was used to devoting her life to her husband and to other people, and now there’s nobody left. She feels alone.

Exploration of Naomi’s journey to her faith was fascinating to me, partially because I did not grow up with any religion. Paula Rose Michelson, at least in my interpretation (I hope it’s right!), seems to show that maintaining one’s faith is easy when things go well. The real test of faith comes when life is hard. And Naomi’s life is very hard at this moment, no doubt about it. One of the other characters makes a comment about her, “She’s so changed. It’s as if she no resources left.” I took this phrase to mean that she has no moral, mental, or physical strength left, and no true faith to build up that strength.

But gradually, things start changing. One of the most powerful scenes in this book is Naomi’s encounter with Marvin, a young child she meets at Blessings Rock. Marvin helps Naomi see that she was not living according to faith and not following God’s way: “she was walking in her own way and calling it his.” The fact that a young child has all this wisdom was very interesting to me. Perhaps, his heart is more pure than Naomi’s, maybe because his heart is not as burdened with hurt and pain, so he can see life more clearly. Another point that got my attention was the idea that it’s important at some points in life to relinquish control and let God guide one’s life. I’m sure it’s not a new concept for religious readers, but (and I hate to admit it!), it felt like a revelation to me.

And then things change even more. Naomi learns (or re-learns?) to forgive. Forgiveness is another crucial aspect of faith, so it’s another sign that Naomi is re-discovering her faith, probably at a deeper level than ever before. When a group of mean girls taunt her, she says, “I feel like praying for them.” And that shows a major development in her character and in her faith. Here, Naomi is definitely regaining her strength and perseverance. When she finally returns home, completing her quest, she feels 'a sense of ownership she had never felt before.' Going back to the quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, I feel that at that moment Naomi truly learns to see with her heart, not just with her eyes. What a great ending, an ending that feels so earned, so satisfying, and so logical. A great book. Highly recommended."  — Author, college professor of creative writing, Julia Gousseva http://amzn.to/1zK3rPC

No comments:

Post a Comment