Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In the Shadow of Lions

Mia's favorite class in school is gym (I have no idea where she gets that from!). When she came home from school the other day, I knew it was her first day in gym, so I asked her how she liked it. She said that it was fun, but she was "disappointed because it wasn't as challenging as last year." Her vocabulary is a bit unusual for a 5-1/2 year old! Then she said, "Mommy, you know what the best part was?" I asked her to tell me, and she replied, "we got to help out the little 4Kers, and they were so cute. They were just adorable and littler than me!" She's so much bigger now, being in 5K and all.

I signed her up for dance classes starting this Saturday. It'll be a bit of a stretch financially, but she loves dance so much, I'm really hoping that she will enjoy it. I have a prayer request though. It looks as though Mia's juvenile rheumatoid arthritis has come out of commission. She's complaining about pain in her wrists, elbows, and knees. Monday night she woke up sobbing in pain in her left knee. That hasn't happened in over a year. I'm taking her into the pediatrician tomorrow, and hopefully we'll get some answers.

In the Shadow of Lions by Ginger Garrett is a remarkably original take on a well-known story. The story of Anne Boleyn and her marriage to Henry VIII has been written and played out on the screen hundreds of times, and usually, Anne is portrayed as a conniving, manipulative witch. Garrett turns history on its head by giving Anne heart and faith. Anne's story, along with another woman named Rose, is a story within the story of Bridget, a woman suffering from terminal cancer who has been ordered by a Scribe to write down their story. This Scribe, who appears to be some sort of angel, allows Bridget to observe history as it happens, and as she writes it down, she discovers some truths about her own life. It's a fascinating premise, and Garrett handles it extremely well. Anne is portrayed as a woman of faith who is torn by her desire for Henry and her desire to remain chaste to be faithful to God. She's not a manipulator, but manipulated herself, caught in a web of intrigue beyond her creation or knowledge. Part of what makes the story shine is Garrett's deft writing. Crickets sang the same note, over and over, like a needle and thread bobbing in and out of the dark blanket of the night sky. Garrett recreates history in a way that makes it vital. Henry VIII is burning men and women at the stake who dare to read William Hutchins' book, the New Testament, which has been translated for the first time into English so everyone can read it. What those martyrs suffered for their faith, makes me very grateful for the ability to read my Bible every night and to worship in the way I please. This appears to be the first in a series; I hope the next one comes out soon!

Remember to drop me an email for the chance to win one of two copies of Allison Pittman's Saturdays with Stella before 10 pm tomorrow night!