Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"He was close, dangerously close, to loving them." - A Time of Darkness

Wow. I honestly did not realize that I hadn't updated in two months. I am extremely sorry for that. (And I seriously thought it had only been one month. Wow). Real life interfered for a bit, but I think I'm back on track now. Anyway...

I received this book as a hand-me-down years ago. I read it, enjoyed it, then promptly lost it. I couldn't remember the title or the author; just vague ideas of what had happened in the book. Finally, with the help of the kind folks at The Dairy Burger, I was able to track it down. The title is "A Time of Darkness," published as "Rocco" in Australia. The author is Sherryl Jordan.

Rocco Makepeace is a teenager in Australia (I think, though the book doesn't actually say that). His father is a stay-at-home dad and potter; his mom is a career woman who doesn't seem to like him very much. Rocco has been having strange dreams about being in a cave and being attacked by a wolf. The dreams are really really real, and he doesn't know what to make of them. He is seeing the effects of the dreams in real life as well. He feels tired and sore from being attacked by the wolf. His eyes burn from sitting by a campfire. Rocco isn't sure what to make of all this. His family doesn't believe him and they think he may be on drugs and stuff.

Rocco reluctantly goes to visit his elderly grandmother (father's mother) in a nursing home. After he gets home, he falls asleep and wakes up in the Valley of Anshur, which is populated by a primitive tribe of humans. He is an outsider, but the village's sage, an elderly woman named Ayoshe, tells them to let him stay. Rocco has no idea how he got there or how to get back, so he begins to learn the ways of the tribe and how to live among them. But throughout, he is conflicted; torn between the feeling that he doesn't belong and his growing love for the tribe and the people in it. Will he be able to get back home? Does he really want to leave? How did he get there in the first place, and how did Anshur come into existence?

This is a beautifully written book, y'all. It's just lovely. The characters, the setting, the ways of the tribe...everything felt very real. I wanted to live in Anshur by the time it was over. The books raises some interesting questions about destiny and fate, and points out the power of simple acts. I can't really say much else without spoiling the whole thing. But if you can track this book down, I highly highly recommend it.

More Trixie in my next update. Promise. I'm setting myself a target date of May 23rd to have it up. You can hold me to it. If you're still reading, thank you for your patience.

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