Beneath the Marble Sky

This isn’t really a book report or a book review. It is more a reminder, a personal reflection geared to keep the book I’ve just finished reading, close to my heart. This seventeenth century historical fiction novel by John Shors recounts the story of the Taj Mahal. As a memorial of a just Emporer Shah Johan for his wife Empress Mumtaz Mahal, her tomb remains a gleaming white marble eulogy of their love.

The eternal struggle between the two most powerful human emotions love and hatred are ever the theme of this story. The antagonist, the Shah’s son Arangzeb, represents extreme evil as the heroine, the shah’s eldest daughter Princess Johanara, embodies the virtues of goodness.

Brutality displayed vividly in two men is countered by the gentle strength of two other men in the story. In describing the brutality of the evil men the author holds nothing back. It is the endurance of Johanara that allows the reader to accept the vivid physical abuse as necessary to the story. It is a complicated plot. The underlying and perhaps more important theme is the Muslem and Hindu faith of the characters which exhibits the good and the evil interpretation by the characters.

Being Christian, I noted the mention of the spires of a few churches along with those of the temples and mosques in an idyllic town by the sea, where the virtuous characters in the story spent some respite from the extreme struggles they were otherwise experiencing. This first novel of John Shors is well worth reading.

Wonderland vs Wonderful World

Ever think you’re living in an Alice In Wonderland world with Mad Hatters and men who are made of cards? I know the story makes sense as the author knew what it meant. It isn’t really for me to use it for comparing our world today.

But is there any way to compare the insanity surrounding me every day? I suppose Presidents Day which has consolidated two great Presidents, to make room for things like the Earth Day and others, I don’t wish to remember. Now what country is it that we live in? Although it took years in the making, I feel as if I went to bed one night in the United States of America and woke up in Wonderland wondering what happened..

I wonder when and if my country will be restored. God is removed from the public schools, women can choose to abort their own children up to birth in New Jersey and even after birth in New York. We have no border, no law, no justice. Yet there exists a struggle as old as humanity itself. It is one of domination vs. freedom. It is the soul of our country and the gift of these two men. Both fought against slavery, one from a country and the other slavery of a people: Both bore the chains of domination.

A blinding is taking place today and the focus is on the slavery President Lincoln fought instead of the slavery President Washington fought. I am convinced there is no such thing as different races. It is the human race that God made as He did all things. For in the sight of our One Lord Creator we are all equally loved; yet He the Almighty cannot embrace evil or domination. We do know we are wonderfully made and have freedom to decide for good or evil, freedom or domination, life or death.

It is a wonder we still hope for our wonderful country !