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Showing posts from July, 2016

The Ringmaster's Wife

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     The 1920's, from London to New York, from the perspective of an English Lady and, contrarily, a working woman in the states. The Ringmaster's Wife flits back and forth in perspective between Lady Rosamund, a young lady who abandons her home and arranged marriage in order to thrive in the world of circus life, and Mabel, a simple girl with big dreams that she carries around in an old cigar box.      The circus has always been a fascination of mine, from the flying acrobats and showy displays of the Cirque de Soleil , to the run-down rides in a forgotten town, or even the sinister settings of stories like Something Wicked This Way Comes (Ray Bradbury). Cambron winds the fascination of the circus lights and the excitement of the Roaring '20s into a descriptive and emotional narrative, with a sense of mystery, intrigue, and suspense.      In The Ringmaster's Wife , she opens with a curious prologue, and from there on we are introduced to various different sid

Unashamed: Healing Our Brokenness and Finding Freedom From Shame

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Shame: a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.      In Chapter One of her book, Unashamed , Heather Davis Nelson makes an important distinction: “Guilt is associated with actions while shame taints your entire identity.” She quotes BrenĂ© Brown to explain that “the majority of shame researchers and clinicians agree that the difference between shame and guilt is best understood as the difference between ‘I am bad’ and ‘I did something bad’.”      Guilt is as simple as a natural response to wrongdoing, where you know what you have done is wrong. On the other hand, shame is better described as: “The feeling that we have missed the mark according to our own standard or our perception of someone else’s standard for us. Shame keeps us from being honest about our struggles, sins, and less-than-perfect moments. Fear of shame drives us to perfectionism in all areas of our life, so that there would be no imperfection to be notic

Risen (DVD)

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     My dad taught grade nine social studies some years ago, before he changed professions. I never saw socials as my favourite class in school - some years, in fact, I downright despised it. But recently, the history of things has grown in value in my mind. Pair that with a good couple hundred pages of detailed, researched fiction, and I am a happy reader. From Iscariot by Tosca Lee, to the Dangerous Beauty series by Angela Hunt, I have a growing adoration for historical fiction.      Angela Hunt also contributed to the novelization of the recently released DVD, Risen . Normally, I would default to reading the book. But I happened to have sooner access to the DVD this time, and at high recommendation from my parents who saw it in theatres, so I will be reviewing the DVD here today.      A little change from routine.      Roman military Tribune Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) is tasked with solving what happened to the body of Jesus, the Nazarene. With the help of his aide, Lucius (To

Delilah

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     Samson and Delilah. Delilah and Samson. Stories we think we know. It always fascinates me, how someone can take these told and re-told stories and twist them into something I had never imagined before.      In her Dangerous Beauty series, Angela Hunt has portrayed the ladies of the Bible, Esther and Bathsheba, and now Delilah, in an exceptional form of art and historical fiction. In the other two renditions, books, I know that I gushed about the incredible roller coaster of emotions that Hunt took me through. Delilah carries a different kind of feel.      The first few chapters portray a young woman, headstrong, healthy and mostly well-off. And then a rapid decline, spurred by the death of her step-father, into abuse at the hands of her monstrous step-brother. Imprisonment in their home, a cruel separation from her mother - the only other person she knows in Gaza since they moved from Egypt. This story of Delilah is cruel and heart-wrenching, perhaps no more or less so than