Friday, March 02, 2007

A Valley of Betrayal

Major pro to living where we do: Tuesday after the episode with the van from Monday my dad came over to look at it. We borrowed a battery charger from the neighbor Herbie, and he came over and chatted a bit. Later that afternoon, Herbie, Uncle John, Johnny, Jesse's dad Roger, and Jess were all standing in the driveway looking at the van and chit-chatting. I felt so blessed that we have all these people who care about us and want to help. The verdict: we have an appointment at Monday at a repair shop for new spark plugs and wires. Hopefully that fixes it.

Major con to living where we do: See picture above. Jess came to pick Mia, Doogie and me up from Mom's, and we got horribly stuck in the driveway. It took five of us (Mom, Jake, Doogie, Jess and me) to get us out. Ugh!

A Valley of Betrayal by Tricia Goyer is a compelling story about people living through the Spanish Civil War, which was a precursor to World War II. Goyer includes a lot of great historic detail about the war and the circumstances leading up to it. The story is told through the eyes of Americans Phillip and Sophie, each who came to Spain for reasons having nothing to do with the war, and who both lose someone close to them. Their losses bring them together and closer to God. I was thrilled with Goyer's portrayal of Christianity in the book. The only person who gives the occasional sermon is appropriately a priest, but even his sermons have a political context to them. Other characters in the story a Nazi named Ritter and a young black man named Deion have small but pivotal roles in the story as well. As soon as Father Manuel's town was disclosed as Guernica, I began holding my breath for the book's climax. Anyone who has seen Picasso's painting of the brutality and destruction that took place there can't help but remember its name. Goyer does a good job of trying to describe the deep tragedy and sadness over the place. She also manages quite well to describe the political atmosphere surrounding the war and all of the different factions involved. She makes it very clear, that this was a war where it was hard to define good and evil. Obviously the first in a series, many questions are left unanswered at the end. In fact, I kept glancing at how few pages I had left thinking, "No, she can't end it here, she wouldn't!" Sophie is a strong, remarkable role model, and I look forward to reading about her quest for the truth.

Doogie starts driving school this week. It's hard to believe that my son is that old. He's already offering warnings: Stay off the sidewalk!


Tricia Goyer said...

Wow, Christy. What I great review! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book!!! And yes ... some of those questions will be answered!

Christy Lockstein said...

Yay! I can't wait! I've got another Tricia Goyer review coming up later this week.