Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Iscariot

     If you're looking to feel deep, cutting emotions, look no further than these 328 pages. 328 pages of raw, ravaging, agonizing, beautiful pain.

     There is something to be said of authors who can write raw emotion and force you, against your will, to feel, deeply, down to the very depths of your core. And this is not exaggeration or melodrama either. I read Havah by Tosca Lee a couple of years ago. The story of Adam and Eve. I remember my breath being ripped away by her imaginative prowess. Every inch of her historical fiction is riddled with feeling and realness, and Iscariot is no different. Perhaps it's better. I cannot say for sure.

     A troubling character already, Lee turns Judas Iscariot heartbreaking. So powerfully that I could not stop reading. You think you know a story - and you know it well - and then someone like Tosca Lee comes along and pulls the pages out from under you. She offers fresh perspective and agonizing suggestion. And forces you to acknowledge Judas as more than simply a betrayer.

     So much more.

     It is so easy to read a story over and over, and to know it backwards and forwards, and to stop looking into the depths of it for the deepest of meanings. The practice wears on you. You know the words, you know the premise, you know the plot and the general idea. Isn't that enough?

     The moment I read Tosca Lee's work, it was no longer enough for me. The speculation is so ultimately powerful and spurring of so many questions and so much newness. It is all too easy to read these stories in the Bible and see only the short, chopped narrative that is there. Lee brings life to these read and re-read words. She brings emotion and entangling thought and desperate feeling to something that can sometimes seem bland. Take a fresh breath of life with her sometime.

     --Elise--

For more information on Iscariot by Tosca Lee, visit our website here.

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