Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Stillness of Chimes by Meg Moseley (Novel Review)

Why yes, I did sit down on a recent Sunday and devour an entire 343 page novel.  That is a rare feat for me.  I think I’ve done that only three times in recent years.  Blame it on Meg Moseley, because those three times were for her three books: When Sparrows Fall, GoneSouth, and now A Stillness of Chimes.  This most recent one arrived in my mailbox just the day before I read it, so you can see it didn’t gather any dust before I polished it off. 

When I first glimpsed the stunning cover picture and read the title, I thought, “There must be some significance to these.” I love the fact that the cover captures both innocence and foreboding.   The title is quite subtle. I didn’t catch its significance until later in the book, then a quiet, “Aha… Got it!”

A Stillness of Chimes, set in a small Georgia town, follows the story of Laura, who has returned home after her quirky mother’s death only to be confronted with the rumors that her troubled father, presumed drowned in the lake 12 years earlier, has been seen sneaking around.  The tale sensitively explores childhood trauma, painful mysteries, and the complicated tangle of mental illness, post Vietnam PTSD, alcohol abuse, child abuse, and the ensuing fallout of family dysfunction.  Yet for all the serious themes, this is not a dismal book at all.   While she certainly calls out true evil as it is, the author treats her well nuanced characters with great compassion and discernment, offering redemption, hope, and a gentle romance in the midst of darkness. 

Meg Moseley
Today is the book’s official release date, and I encourage you to get yourself a copy and settle in for a satisfying and edifying read.  A Reader's Guide is included in the back, which makes it ideal for discussing at a book club.

You can buy the book at Christian Book Distributors here: A Stillness of Chimes.  (This is an affiliate link.)  You can also find it at AmazonBarnes & Nobleand Multnomah BooksHere’s a link to a preview of Chapter 1Click here to see the release announcement at Meg's blog.  I received a review copy of this book from the author.

Read my reviews for Meg's other novels:

When Sparrows Fall

Virginia Knowles

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Self-Portraits: Teenage and Middle Age (Pilgrimage and Jubilee)


I sketched these self-portraits 
over 30 years apart,
in late 1980 and early 2012.
I just found the first one in my files.

And I think:
How has my life changed?

At 17, youthful and idealistic,
determined and confident,
enigmatic and curious,
ready to conquer the world.
I started college early, 
just a few months after this portrait.
And a few months after that, still 17,
I moved far away from home.
(Silly me!)

At 48, I was older (for sure) 
and wiser (I hope).
In some ways, I've hardened.
I've seen a lot of tough stuff.
Maybe it's made me cynical.
Just a teeny bit - or a whole lot?
Yet in some ways, I have softened, too.
I think I'm less rigid, more mellow.
Understanding.  Compassionate.
At least sometimes.

And now at 50?
Life changes even in two years.
Time marches on.
What will life be like in five years?
Ten and twenty and thirty?

It will be interesting to go back through 
my old journals and notebooks. 
What was I thinking?
How was I doing at
processing my experiences?
What can I learn about myself
that will carry me into the future
with greater expectancy and effectiveness?

What about you?
Have you taken the chance
to look back, to look forward?

Oh, all that reminds me...
I updated my About Me page.
Take a peek: Who Am I?

This post is part of my Pilgrimage and Jubilee series,
looking back on my 50 years.
I just added a whole bunch of older posts to this category.
Here is a sampling from my growing up years:

And here are two poems from the series:

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