Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Even though it's after Christmas and the New Year I am enjoying this book so much. It's like a trip of nostalgia. It's a coming of age story about a Felix and his friend Lonny. Both boys go to Catholic school, St. Aloysius Gonzaga. When I went to school, I went to public schools. My best friend who lived next door went to a Catholic school. For some reason, I always thought the kids at Catholic school had more fun. After all, my friend wore this neat looking maroon uniform. Plus, her church gave a carnival every year. I also loved the names of the nuns. The nuns had names like Sister Maria Francis or Sister Rose Opus. The names of the sisters in Wishin and Hopin are fascinating and mysterious too. There is SisterDymphna, Mother Filomina and Sister Mary Agrippina. While all my school teachers had normal names like Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Stockholm, Mr Hopper. The names just seemed too normal except for "Stockholm." I did think my principal had a certain mystique. First of all, she was a lady. Second of all, her name was Mrs. Potter. I loved that name. Maybe it made me think of the Beatrix Potter books, those tiny, tiny books.
I'm sorry to give a part of my life history. It's impossible not to think about memories while reading "Wishin' and Hopin." The big event is the school play. The play is titled "Jesus Is The Reason For The Season." I want to tell you about one of my school plays. Don't worry. I will restrain myself. "Jesus Is The Reason For The Season" is a laugh a minute. I won't tell you anything about it except two sheep are chased through the auditorium by the students and the parents, baby Jesus is almost destroyed but through creative thinking he is saved with the help of Felix. The book is wonderful. Wally Lamb must write another Christmas book. If he does decide to write one, I will send up a Catholic prayer. Because I seriously doubt he can top "Wishin and Hopin.
Last but not least, Annette Funicello is fondly remembered throughout the book. All of us who remember The Mickey Mouse Club will never forget the beautiful dark curly haired Annette. Annette now suffers with MS. Thankfully, Wally Lamb gives different ways to get in touch with the National Association of Multiple Sclerosis.
Well, I will bump, bump, along to my next book. Remember Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte? Felix can't seem to forget that movie. Read the book. It's beyond great.
I am almost tempted to list this book as one of my favorites of 2009. The book is jam packed with different issues and with solidly built characters. The story takes place in Whisper Hollow, Tennessee. What a surprise to read about Chattanooga. This is a place I know well.
Jade is the main character along with her fiance Max. Each of these two characters have a past. I have always heard the old saying "let bygones be bygones." After reading "The Sweet By and By," I had to rethink this idea because no matter how much Jade or Max tried not to deal with the past it always appeared in their present moments.
While reading about the people in Whisper Hollow, I also thought about our personal choices in life. Those choices ultimately have good or bad consequences. I feel the longer it takes to say "I made this choice. It's my fault." might hinge on how long it takes before we allow Christ to enter our life. If Christ is already known, it might take longer for us to experience wonderful intimacy with the Father and Son.
This book is powerful. Through the lives of these characters, I could see obstacles in my walk with the Lord. I am so glad to have read the "The Sweet By and By by Sara Evans.