Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Cracking Grace by Steven Stromp

Cracking Grace by Steven Stromp, is a delightfully tragic tale. This self published book through lulu.com was short, but long enough to tell the story. Audrey and her father are dealing with the recent loss of her mother. Their family have been the long time caretakers of a nearby cemetery in the woods and now the mother has been buried there. Audrey realizes the loss, but her father is unable to let go of his beloved wife so easily as he begins a trek along the edge of madness. Unknown at first to Audrey are the living tenants of the cemetery which have been watching, listening and wondering about her and her family for quite some time. With the aid of a small bluebird, the statues have been seeking answers about the world around them and about why they are who they are. The story is quite different and very charming, but don't look for theological answers from the book. There's one better suited for that. Stromp is a very good writer and the narrative is always engaging. I was actually surprised at the sudden turn the story takes closer to the end of the book, but that makes it even more interesting and Mr. Stromp brings a nice close to it all with a happier, if not somewhat morbid, ending. One of the most profound ideas in Cracking Grace was that with all of our ability to move and feel and learn about the world around us and the mysteries beyond, most people still know little more than a few cemetery statues about the meaning of life.

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