"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

-C.S. Lewis

What we read has such an impact on us, and I am always on the lookout for something that will inspire me to be a better person. Here is a sampling of books that have been in the teetering stack sitting on top of what is rumored to be my bedside table.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Palace of Darkness, by Tracy L. Higley

Palace of Darkness: A Novel of Petra, is the third book of Higley's that I have read, and this novel did not disappoint!  This is a tale of a woman who has to make a life for herself and her son after her husband's death.  Her journey takes her to Petra (you may recognize the city carved out of stone from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade).  There, she seeks her husband's family.  In doing so, she encounters new friends, new challenges, and ultimately grows into the strong woman she is destined to become.

As usual, I admired Higley's writing style.  But this book in particular shone because of the love between Cassia and her son.  Her willingness to make sacrifices for her little boy must resonate in the heart of every mother.  This book grabbed me in a way that few do.  I was emotionally involved in Cassia's journey.  Her pain became my pain, her joy my joy.  I so rarely become so attached to characters as I did to Cassia, and that made this book spring to life for me.

Through all of this, there is Higley's usual attention to historical detail.  This is a time period which I know little about - the establishment of the early Christian church.  Cassia's new friends in Petra try to eke out a place for their faith in this city, and unbelieving Cassia is witness to this.  Higley offers a perspective on the early church that I had not thought much about.  The book opened my mind to ideas that were new to me, and I am always grateful for a writer who can do that.

Disclaimer:  I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Four out of Five Stars