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Saturday, September 20, 2008

David Wheaton is a man who is passionate about life. He is an actor who has been quite successful, but in life he has been a bit less successful. Turns out that he has had a number of wives .. 9, actually. And 11 children, although a number of them have already died when the reader joins the story. David is closest with his daughter Emma, who married a playwright, Nik. Nik's dream is to write a play about the Biblical King David and have his father-in-law play the main character, and has worked quite a bit on the script and ideas. David is dying, and is being cared for by his current wife, Alice, and Emma is present with them on a boat in Alaska enjoying this last time with her father. he wants to revisit memories, to apologize, to remember the beauty, to confess, and to prepare himself for a peaceful death. this means that Emma (and Alice & her brother Ben) must also revisit the past with him.

L'Engle carefully weaves together Biblical truth with this story of a man and those connected with his family. I often have a hard time with novels that refer to the Bible because I rarely agree with them. But L'Engle is careful about what she uses and how she uses it. Her characters often quote directly from the Word and make interesting connections. When one reviews the story of David, it is amazing that such a sinful and human man could have been used so strongly by God. The modern character, David, is also quite human and sinful .. and yet has brought much good to his family. He made his share of mistakes and ignored things he shouldn't have ignored .. but there has also been grace and care in his family. L'Engle is careful to leave the reader with hope .. even though some awful events come to light in the course of the story, the end feels like an inhaling and preparing to move forward. For both the characters and possibly for the reader as well, if one has identified with the characters in helpful ways.

Title:Certain Women
Author: Madeleine L'Engle
Date published:1992
Genre: Fiction
Number of pages: 352
Notes: first non ya fiction of hers I've read


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