I have a question for you. Have you ever read any literature that is referenced in books? Some things I have, “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien as a teenager. “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis as a young girl, all referenced by Sylvain Reynard in The Gabriel Series. I also have read, and am rereading with my granddaughter, Beatrix Potter, Laura Ingalls as well. I have also read “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” by Thomas Hardy, thanks to E. L. James’s “Fifty Shades of Grey”. Some of the classic’s I did not read until I was an adult (just wasn’t cool when I was in High School). I discovered at that time Austin, the Bronte’s and fell in love with them and sorry I did not find them earlier. I still go back to them. But back to my original question. Some are just intimidating for me, Tolstoy is one of the authors that intimidates me.
One of the books mentioned in the Gabriel Series is “A Severe Mercy” by Sheldon Vanauken. The book has great importance to Richard and Grace, it was Grace’s favorite book. Gabriel lends it to Julia to read. As he compares their love to Dante and Beatrice, he campares Richard to the author, and Grace as Richard’s Beatrice. Stating that he will probably never remarry like the author.
I need to be totally honest at the moment about this, I am a widow. I have been a widow for almost as long as I was married. After a podcast one Saturday Kez, Dana and I were talking about this book. How wonderfully written Sylvain Reynard wrote about Richard and Grace’s marriage. While I don’t think every marriage is perfect, even the best of marriages, it’s how were get through those rough times that can deepen or deter the relationship. In reading a synopsis of “A Severe Mercy” there were things I noticed about the book I can relate to my own marriage.
Jim and I married less than a month after we met. Everyone, including family thought we were crazy. But we knew that we wanted to be together. Not long after, within the year, we had our son Patrick. Talk about doing things fast… Life was good. Our lives got hectic work, school, soccer, Little League. We were both active as volunteers in the community and church. We sort of lost sight of the other, date night was nonexistent. We were like ships passing in the night. I can’t tell you what the catalyst was, but we stopped, took a breath together and realized how far apart we had become, then took a second look. We were lucky. We reconnected and decided that we had to make each other a priority again. I am so glad we did. Jim became ill and six months later passed away.
So it is with a bit of trepidation that I am going to read this book. I have never been good with dealing with grief, my own or anyone else’s. Which is surprising considering I grew up with a Funeral Director, a mother that was always the consoling person for friends, family and neighbors, as well as a sister who has been a Hospice Nurse for 30 odd years. It’s part of the emotion I don’t like to let anyone see I guess. I will let you know about my progress in reading, and share my feelings as I going along.
Happy reading to you!