Owls are attracted to miracles and the little Colorado town of Bicho Raro is teeming with them. Pilgrims come to the town in search of the Saints of the Soria family, hoping for their own miracles. But miracles are strange things, and sometimes require more than just the Saints of Bicho Raro to be completed. Sometimes it takes a miracle for the pilgrims to reach inside and find their own answers and once in a while, miracles can happen even to the saints themselves.
Maggie Stiefvater is hands down my favorite author. Her writing is always lyrical and symbolic and I marvel at her creativity and talent. This book has an entirely different flavor to it. I struggled a lot to get into this story. At one point, I considered giving up but I continued, searching for the hidden gem. There is a huge amount of underlying symbolism in this novel. While the story in itself was gentle and not awe-inspiring for me, the message it carries of hope, of the darkness we each carry and our ability to slay it together, is.
Where do we come from? Where are we going?
Professor Robert Langdon is intrigued when he receives an invitation to a mysterious presentation from his friend, futurist Edmond Kirsch. He is even more curious when, just before the presentation, his friend admits that he has made a break through scientific discovery that will change the face of religion. But Kirsch’s presentation is cut short when he is assassinated on live television. Robert Langdon and Kirsch’s friend Ambra Vidal are determined to find the password that will release Kirsch’s discovery to the world.
Dan Brown remains one of my favorite authors. It’s impossible to read a Dan Brown book without opening your mind to new ways of thinking and emerging with more insight, and often more questions, on the other side. Origin seeks to answer the greatest questions of all time: Where do we come from and where are we going? Brown tackles the conflicting schools of science versus religion with boldness and tact. Like a true scientist, he provides the facts and encourages each reader to find his or her own truth.
Brown’s descriptions of Spain and in particular, Basilica de la sagrada familia, are so vivid and exquisite that his book is sure to ignite a fresh wave of tourism. His references to technology and how it could shape the future of humanity are both exciting and frightening. It may be fiction, but I hope that each of us hears and heeds the underlying messages of warning and of hope for a better future.
Since it’s that time of year again when we celebrate the amazing things our mothers and fathers do for us each day, I took a look at some of the books I’ve read recently in search of great Mom and Dad examples. Sadly, there are not many! In fact, most books, in the young adult genre in particular, are characterized by absent or troubled parental figures. Perhaps it is a sign of the times, or a tainted perception from the eyes of the troubled main characters? Thankfully, there were a few good examples though! Here are my top fiction moms and dads:
1. Claire and Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series:
They’re the kind of parents many of us dream of having. Protective and loving, but willing to let their offspring live and learn. A shining example of a healthy marriage. They give their children their own space and are there to help, but they’re not afraid to let them fight their own battles. Claire and Jamie have tempered their love with just the right amount of freedom to ensure that their children are prepared to travel through time to be with them.
2. Esme from Twilight
She may not be there biological mother, but Esme is “Mom” in every sense of the word to the Cullens. She loves fiercely and will protect to the point of death. She’s got enough heart to welcome even an outsider human into the family and her maternal love spans centuries. Any woman who can love as unconditionally as Esme can and take another’s offspring as her own is a heroine in my books.
3. The Lancasters from The fault in our stars
They’re faced with a parent’s worse nightmare. Nothing could be worse than knowing you will outlive your child. Yet they have accepted the reality of their daughter’s fate with both grace and bravery. There’s no time to treat Hazel as the teenager she is. The Lancasters have accepted that their beautiful girl is just more grown up than other girls her age, as a consequence of her shortened life expectancy. They treat Hazel with the respect, leniency and maturity of an adult, with just the right amount of concern and protectiveness. One of the things that sets this couple apart from the rest, is their ability to think beyond life with their daughter. Mom and Dad realize that they have their own lives too, and it’s important to live to the fullest, regardless of their tragic circumstances. This strength spills over into the life of their offspring.
These are some of my favorite fiction moms and dads. Can you think of yours? Better yet, can you think of your own parents and what makes them so special to you?