Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Weekend of Reading!

I read two books this weekend: The Guardian, by Jane Hamilton, and Christ the Lord, by Anne Rice.

The Guardian was a book that I bought (and read) about 12 years ago. As I was going through my books to see what I could get rid of (eek!), I picked this one up and decided to re-read it to see if it was worth keeping.

Is it worth keeping? hmmm. Probably so. The story is interesting enough -- a guardian angel makes a horrific mistake and is given a second chance. While this is what I would consider to be "light reading," (and I thought the story just fizzled in the end) it does bring up several interesting ideas about guardian angels, such as how they feel about us and how they help us in our daily lives. I know that St. Pio had a great affection for his guardian angel, and after reading some of his writings I found it fascinating to think about the points that this author brought up. In fact, my dh and I had a long talk that evening about all the questions this book raised for me: Do our guardian angels love us, or is this "just a job" for them? How to they help us along spiritually? Do they pray for us? (of course I believe they do!)

Then I went on to the second book of the weekend: Christ the Lord by Anne Rice. I have never read any of her other books, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I had heard, however, that she had returned to the Church, so I was willing to "give it a go."

First of all, I have to say that I'm thrilled she has "re-found" the Lord after a 30 year absence. Her "author's notes" at the end of the book are encouraging to read, and the story of His grace in our lives never grows old.

I had two problems with this story: (1)The actual "storyline" of the book didn't go very far (The book covered the childhood of Jesus from age 7 to age 12). I'm not sure if this book is supposed to be the first in a series, or if this book was meant to stand on its own. Either way, she spent most of her time in character development, with very little "action" to move the story along; and (2) her portrayals of the Holy Family were, at times, uncomfortable for me.

Given that, though, it did give me more to really meditate on. I was confronted -- again -- with how miraculous, how amazingly wonderful the Incarnation really is. That thought hits me quite often as I go through a typical day: waiting in line, rushing to get somewhere on time, cooking meals, dealing with fussy babies, etc. I am blown away when I think about how God Himself went from the splendor of Heaven and being adored by angels to being a little child learning to tie His shoes. Did He always remember Who He was? Or did He, as Anne Rice imagines it, "remember" it slowly, piece by piece?

I can't give either book a 5 star recommendation, but in terms of "food for thought," they were both worthwhile reads.


Tim said...

You read both those books in one weekend?
I've been curious about Rice's latest after her conversion and all. Christianity Today had a great interview of her a few months ago.
Thanks for the heads up.

Ouiz said...

I was eager to see what Anne Rice would write as well (after seeing several articles highlighting her return to the Church), so I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it!

And yes, I did read both in one weekend. (drives my husband nuts too... "please tell me HOW you finished that book when I'm only on chapter 4!")