Friday, April 25, 2014

Acts of God by Ellen Gilchrist

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Imagine ten perfect jewels of deep clarity that catch the ambient light and focus it into prismatic rainbow arches against the darkened corner of the room. Link then together in a stunning chain that takes your breath away and illumines the room.

Then you can imagine reading these ten stories.

I am not exaggerating. I am not saying this because I was given this ebook free from Algonquin Books via NetGalley so I could review it for this blog. Gilchrist's stores are just that powerful.

No none escapes life unscathed, not even the rich and successful. And everyone can find joy in the life they have, no matter how troubled.  There is war. There are tornados and hurricanes and floods and death and disease and accidents. How we respond to what happens to us defines who we are more than anything else.

These stories about people, ordinary people, who come face to face with tragedy or loss, or love and grace, teach the reader about how to live.

"We are born of risen apes, not fallen angles...The miracle of man is not how far he has sunk but how magnificently he has risen." Robert Ardley

This quotation, here abridged, sets the tone for the stories. For what we read are incidents where ordinary people rise to their better angels and are transformed by the experience.

People in the stories go into disaster zones after tornados, hurricanes, and floods. They lose loved ones. Their vacations are stopped by bombs. They face deliberating or fatal disease.

We learn about life and what matters along with the protagonists, and they show us how to live and about what really matters.

Acts of God by Ellen Gilchrist
Algonquin Books
PAGES: 256
ISBN: 978-1-61620-110-4
LIST PRICE: $23.95