Sunday, 5 May 2013

Jewel of the Pacific ~ Linda Lee Chaikin

I've read two amazing books in the last week, and I'll be bringing them both before you here for review. I told a friend the other day that I don't blog for the sake of blogging - I like to feel I've got something to contribute rather than reinventing the wheel of the day. These books are blogworthy!

First, it was my absolute pleasure to get between the pages of the final instalment in the Dawn of Hawaii series by Linda Lee Chaikin.

Oh.

My.

Goodness.

I am never disappointed with her works. I mean, like practically never.

 

Though amazon.com will have you believe this is book three, it's actually book four. Book one will be known by Chaikin's faithful readership who are no doubt celebrating this grand finale, and the author's astounding testimony on how the separation came about can be read here (I highly recommend it for aspiring authors on the realities of publishing). To avoid confusion we'll refer to this original work as the prequel (instead of book 1), as I'm hoping Moody will come to the party and publish it again (hopefully with a totally fantastic cover to give it some serious cred!).

What I love most about Linda's novels is that they possess a spirituality and intellectuality I long for in my own life. Her characters are complex and filled with consistency as well as the nuances of humanity that brings them so within reach of our understanding. They do what we would do, and mature into a space where integrity and strength are tested and proven true. Their faith is utterly maxed out, and God is always faithful.

Book 3 picks up where 2 left off, right after the fire that would destroy Rafe's future and not just his dreams. The vow he made years before is sorely tested and that with dire consequences he never saw coming. People get in the way (as always), and Rafe is left without his sight, without immediate recourse for repair after the fire, and without his fiancée. How this comes about is just plain wicked.

Eden is at a loss, however she is now free to pursue her dream of following her father to Molokai without a backward glance. Only she does glance back, and that isn't pretty either. Once again, people are at work and love is thwarted as fiery arrows fly fast and free from more place than one.

The thing I always, without fail, love most about Linda Chaikin's books is that they are not quick reads. There's no 'fling' aspect about them whatsoever. They're meatier, grittier, and stronger than so many works out on the Christian shelves today. They require time to digest every single penny drop moment inside. There are books you can pick up for a quick jaunt through a romance or life lesson, but these books are always so much more for me (Siri Mitchell also fits that meatier profile, and I foresee Olivia Newport joining that list as things progress). They embody a longing for so much more.

This is not to say every other work out there is a waste of time or that we should not have fun, but Linda recognises that time is of the essence. We're in a Laodicean society, as she refers to it (Revelation 3v14-22). I call it a Café Society. As Ephesians 5v16 says, we need to "redeem the time because the days are evil." Her books scarcely waste a word. The characters care about so much more than themselves and their own world.

If you're into novels that redeem the time and feed your spirit not just your soul, these are worth a look. I rue the day this lady of the Word will no longer be with us, but praise God others have picked up the baton to run with it fast and proud.


"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Revelation 3v15-16

Je connais tes œuvres. Je sais que tu n’es ni froid ni bouillant. Puisses-tu être froid ou bouillant!  Ainsi, parce que tu es tiède, et que tu n’es ni froid ni bouillant, je te vomirai de ma bouche.

 

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