Thursday, March 12, 2015

Still Life by Christa Parrish, © 2015

An adventure to learn further of the one you love; bravely in the process Ada Goetz finds herself.

Marrying five months ago to leave for a new life. Now I am alone. How will I navigate a world I do not know? The last word I had from him is gone. He was coming home to me... my first-ever birthday celebration. On my twenty-sixth birthday, my husband dies coming home to me. What am I feeling? Numbness; seeing others, hearing them like through a tunnel. A time tunnel, never to return to me. 
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
   --Proverbs 18:10
Lost and apart, Ada shuffles through time, attempting to go back ~ but recognizing she must go forward.
We're all of us too busy and too focused on our own needs to look up and notice the desperation of others. Or the laughter. If someone looks at one of my photographs and his heart is awakened by what is framed there––grief, loss, joy, poverty, peace, illness, ignorance, fortitude, grace––then perhaps he'll be moved to respond when he comes face-to-face with those same things when passing his neighbor on the sidewalk in front of his own home.
   --Still Life, 183
Do we have vision to see outside of ourselves? I think of the old Time magazine black-and-white photos during war time with the barbed wire strung every which way. Perspective. Seeing.

I love the depth of Christa Parrish's works. She is within and without ~ seeing with a heart that yearns, sees ~ despair, hidden joy, relaxed indifference. You will not walk away without remembering one character in particular, for they all are different ~ some clinging, others defiant and yet one searching for Truth that can only be found from the beginning, God. Shallowness is swallowed up in victory of discovery. I especially remember Stones for Bread, her first novel I read. You will find the titles have hidden meaning too ~ until they become rich with explosion of an aha moment of discovering the dual meaning that is life expounded so deftly, so unexplainably rich. To throw light on what before was dark and obscure, her characters grow. I also like how she writes from the perspective of each character, revealing the whole.

How our lives bump into another, unexpectedly. We may not even know or realize the extent of our presence, or lack of it. Julian Goetz did that to Evan Walker; met him without saying hello. In the depth of exchange, Julian did not know Evan knew him, deeply as a silent mentor by studying his work. Silently projecting, with a knowing eye for focus, for detail behind his eyes. Seeing the inside reflected on the face, that someone else likely would miss. The instant when real was glimpsed and then hidden again beneath a veneer of platitude, silence. Grimness that everything is okay; but it is not.

Book Description
A tragic plane crash. One woman who lost her husband. Another who gave up her seat for him.
Ada spent her first twenty-five years with her family as part of a fringe religious sect. Her only contact with the outside world was through customers at their farm store. Then she met Julian, a photojournalist who'd come to document their lifestyle. They eloped mere days later and Ada was thrust into a completely new life as a wife, city-dweller, and an individual allowed to make her own decisions. But she has no idea who she is.
On her twenty-sixth birthday, Julian plans to fly home from an assignment to give her her first-ever birthday present. He's thrilled when Katherine Cramer gives up her seat so he can make the flight. But the plane crashes and everyone on board is killed, including Julian.
Ada is completely at a loss, with no friends and no marketable skills. When Julian's last photographs are published, her life erupts into chaos. She begins traveling--with Julian's camera for a companion--searching for answers to who she is and what she really wants.
Meanwhile, Katherine must live with the knowledge of why she gave up her seat--to extend her affair one more night. She recognizes her survival as a second chance to save her marriage. But is it too late?
When Ada's and Katherine's paths cross, they discover that there's still life ahead for both of them.
About the Author
Christa Parrish is the author of five novels, including the 2009 ECPA Book of the Year Watch Over Me and the Christy Award-winning Stones for Bread. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, writer and pastor Chris Coppernoll. They have four children in their blended family.

I am looking forward to her next novel ~ visit her book descriptions ~ Breaking the Sea, the ministry and online journal of Christa Parrish. Her awareness bears listening to in a world void of hearing. Expansion of thought from the heart, melting an ocean of obscurity.

***Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for sending me a copy of Christa Parrish's novel, Still Life. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.