Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Oak Leaves by Maureen Lang

Author Maureen Lang’s book is another delightful discovery, although I’m not sure “delightful” best describes it. Moving, endearing, thought-provoking come to mind. Here’s a description of The Oak Leaves:

“Two time periods are woven together through a nineteenth century journal belonging to Cosima Escott, a lovely half-Irish, half-English woman whom everyone considers cursed because so many of the males in her family are “feebleminded.” When Talie Ingram discovers her forbearer’s journal and learns five members of her family once died in a murder-suicide because of this “curse,” Talie sets the journal aside, convinced some skeletons are best left in the closet. Until she sees signs of developmental delay in her own son…”

It seems that the author’s own son was diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome at the age of a year and a half, a situation very similar to that portrayed in her work of fiction. Maureen writes: “Upon the diagnosis, I had to accept one of my children would live a life of constant limitations. . . . Anyone who has a child with a disability knows what it's like to face the fact that your child is ‘different,’ that most hopes and dreams you hold for them probably won't come true.”

Maureen, like Talie in her book, went through the stages of fear, avoidance, anger – then finally acceptance, trust and peace. She concludes, “So if God takes you on a path you never expected to go, let go and look up. He's there in the midst of it all—with blessings you never expected, either.”

I know I’ve grown spiritually by reading The Oak Leaves, and look forward to the next book in this series, On Sparrow Hill. Thank you, Maureen, and also Tyndale Fiction for publishing these books.