The Man Who Rained by Ali Shaw

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This world  where fantasy exists alongside the mundane has me enthralled.  I’ve already read ‘The girl with Glass feet’, (Ali‘s first book) and was drawn into his fantasy world then. The phrase which started it all for me was when Midas saw photos in the woods and  saw them as haunting  and lurking inside, as if they are already there, just waiting for you to catch them.  It was this book which started me on the line to reviewing, though I didn’t review it at the time. Enough, I digress

In The Man Who Rained, Elsa Beletti is living in what is our normal world,but she is wrong for it.  Its only when she escapes to the amazing Thunderstown where the unreal taps at the edge of reality, that she becomes normal in this lost town.  It’s this transformation and her love for Finn that fills the tragic/magical narrative.  The world of weather and clouds, yet intertwined with God and family.  It’s Ali’s rare gift of extending and stretching the rules of personification that builds his worlds.  I wish I could write with this imagination.  The only, only, only thing that spoiled it for me, was that this incredible world and story was resolved though a plot device straight from the genre of Disaster films.  I knew what the ignorant townspeople would do right from the second we met Finn, although not the outcome.  But then again, maybe that’s the charm, that the characters could go through this hoop of predictability but come out the other side as unique as before and ready to go on………you must read this to see.

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Women of the Way by John Kachuba

Women of the Way

I was sent this one to review and was interested to read something set in Bible times. On my reading I had some issues with it and contacted John, he gave some really interesting answers, so my review will contain his answers so you can make up your own mind!  Of course, this book is fiction and does not pertain to be truth.  However, when writing in the times of Jesus, I feel it is important to stick to Biblical truth, otherwise you may mislead someone who is seeking.

The book started out well, with the abused widow starting to follow the way. The details of the Bible lands were gripping. Technically I felt that her dealing with her abusive lover wasn’t clear in the narrative, and shortly after things began to go down hill for me as discrepancies appeared that I couldn’t hold with.  There is absolutely no evidence in the Gospels that anyone but Jesus saw Levi and called him.

The stable for a Passover, also not true, the only account says quite clearly it was an upper room.The stable for a Passover, also not true, the only account says quite clearly it was an upper room. JOHN There are two Passovers mentioned in the novel. The first is fictional. While I did place the first one in an empty stable, the second Passover in the novel, which is the last Passover Jesus celebrated does, in fact, take place in the upper room as it is written in the Bible. Like any other Jew, Jesus would have celebrated Passover every year of his life. The Bible does not tell us where he celebrated them all and, if He could be born in a stable, why couldn’t He have celebrated a Passover in one?

Jesus, planned to preach to the Samaritans, again, fiction. JOHNThat may be fiction, it may be fact. There is no list in the Bible of people Jesus intended to visit, but since he spoke of Samaritans in a positive light in his parables, how can you say with authority that he did not plan to preach to them?

Jesus’ mother thinking him out of his mind?  No way if you read about Mary.I think this is a matter of interpretation and I myself find no evidence for such interpretation. JOHN The biblical passage states that Mary was distraught by the absence of her son and his refusal to leave with her. There are some biblical scholars that believe she feared for her son’s sanity and safety. Luke 8: 19-22 and Matthew 12: 46-50. 

Miriam being the first to see the resurrected Jesus, it was Mary Magdalene, there is surely no grounds for changing her name. Miriam being the first to see the resurrected  Jesus?   JOHN Miriam of Magdala IS Mary Magdalene! I didn’t change her name. Miriam is the Aramaic origin of the name Mary, just as Yeshua is the Aramaic origin of Jesus. ANNA OK! I admit to a Homer Simpson Duh!  here, should have realised this!

All the text is biased to giving the heroine an unbiblical importance.  I’m not saying that Jesus wasn’t radical in his way of treating woman, but not at the point of subverting what is clearly in the word.JOHN The heroine is Miriam/Mary Mgadalene; is that not biblical?Is she not an important biblical figure?  

I’m afraid what finished me was the Apostles going on the follow The Way, with no mention of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit. This is unthinkable, by whose power does the author think the healings were taking place? Why leave this singularly most important event after Jesus’s resurrection out? Jesus promised the Holy Spirit as our comforter, Guidance and helper in these times.  Jesus told the disciples to take the Good News to the world, not Peter.JOHN Yes, Jesus instructed the disciples to spread the word, as it reads in the text, but He also told Peter that he was “the rock upon which he would build his church.” After the death and resurrection of Jesus it was Peter, as well as James, who led the disciples. 

I’m grateful for John’s answers which prove he has a sound biblical knowledge, but for me personally, I don’t like  adding this dramatisation. There is a feminist subtext here, which has a Biblical basis, but is stretched for me too far.  And most of all, ommiting Pentecost is like not icing the cake! It maybe works on a historical note as it does bring the Bible lands to life, my jury is still out on this, you must judge for yourself!!

Anna’s eBook Awards 2012

Not quite a whole year, but some books have really stood out this year, and I award purely personal accolades!

Book of the Year; Alone by T.R Sullivan;https://booksandanna.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/alone-by-t-r-sullivan/

Best Christian Book:The Furious Longing of God by  Brennan Manning; https://booksandanna.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/the-furious-lo…rennan-manning/

Sexiest hero; Morgan in Ice Diaries by Lexi Revillian – Darcy eat your heart out! ; https://booksandanna.wordpress.com/2012/12/05/ice-diaries-by-lexi-revellian/

Best heroine (who fulfills all the criteria for self realisation and falling in/out of love in literary mode); Poppy  in War and Piste by Alex Thomas; https://booksandanna.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/octobers-book-…by-alex-thomas

Best new writer and Science Fiction; The Tower of Babel by G.T Anders; https://booksandanna.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/julys-book-of-…-by-g-t-anders/

Funniest Book; Bad@Being Bad by Mark Barber; https://booksandanna.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/decembers-book…by-mark-barber/

Country book of the Year; Cold enough to freeze cows by Lorraine Jenkin; https://booksandanna.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/cold-enough-to…orraine-jenkin/

Laddiest book of the year; Love, Sex and Tesco’s finest Cava by Steve Carter and Julie Holland; https://booksandanna.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/love-sex-and-t…y-steve-carter/

Doggiest Book of the Year; Barking at Winston by Barry Stone; http://annarashbrook.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/barking-at-win…by-barry-stone/

Where are the Horsey books?  Someone send me theirs!!!!

Most prolific author; Cocaine, Guadeloupe Guillotine, Seaskimmer, and so by Larry Jeram-Croft; https://booksandanna.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/newly-publishe…ry-jeram-croft/; https://booksandanna.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/sea-skimmer-by-larry-jeram; https://booksandanna.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/the-guadeloupe…ry-jeram-croft/