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Sophia (the Pacific Northwest)

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Heart of Flesh: Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men
Heart of Flesh: Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men
von Joan, Osb Chittister
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 18,25

5.0 von 5 Sternen Rarely does one find such an accessible work, 28. Juli 2000
This book is one of the best, well-balanced, thoroughly-discussed commentaries on Christianity, feminism, and liberation theology that I have ever read. Although she makes no secret of her political or spiritual views, Dr. Chittister places them in context, sharing anecdotes and stories as a means for getting her point across. She also manages to detoxify such "buzz words" as "feminism" and clarify why "Westernization" meets with such strong resistance in other cultures
In additioning to covering the "same old ground" (as I've heard it described) of why traditional hurts women, Dr. Chittister also illustrates how it harms men, society, and the earth; and points out how it differs from the way Jesus related to people - inclusive, peaceful, healing and compassionate. This book points to a more respectful and open theology. A brilliant, balanced, and compassionate work.


Forests of the Heart
Forests of the Heart
von Charles de Lint
  Gebundene Ausgabe

5.0 von 5 Sternen Intriguing and beautiful, if slightly familiar, 28. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Forests of the Heart (Gebundene Ausgabe)
As other reviewers have commented, this book is reminiscent of Mr. De Lint's earlier works. The villians, with one or two exceptions, were fairly standard, cookie-cutter, "bad guy" types. The heroes, too, are typical De Lint: one or two recovering types, a few morose guys without a life, a few interesting standouts, and cameo appearances from Angel and Jilly.
That being said, this is still a marvelous read: the supernatural characters are creepy and intriguing, Mr. De Lint's language is, as always, superb, and some of the supporting characters, like Bettina's abuela and the Aunts are very, very funny. Mr. De Lint's focus on personal choices and individual actions in the context of larger battles between good and evil is always thought-provoking. Especially gripping is the realization that one can slip from a so-called "normal life" into a vehicle for evil, almost without realizing it. Or consenting to it.
I almost gave this book four stars, due to its familiarity, but, frankly, I find Mr. De Lint to be one of the finest writers in his field. If he chooses to write the same sort of story in the next ten books he writes, I will still probably read them. I would like to hear more about how the lives of Angel, Jilly, Geordie, etc. are "going" - maybe we will need to wait for the next collection of short stories for that? A very, very good fantasy novel.


Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters)
Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters)
von Juliet Marillier
  Gebundene Ausgabe

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Lyrical, beautiful first fantasy, 23. Juli 2000
In "Daughter of the Forest," Juliet Marillier retells the classic fairy tale, "The Six Swans", setting it in druidic Britain. Ms. Marillier does an excellent job of rendering the characters: of the six brothers, the father, Colum; the sorceress, Oonagh, and most of all, of Sorcha, the youngest sister.
Ms. Marillier presents some interesting modifications to the plot, without making it unrecognizable. Sorcha's suffering is incredible, poignant, and grimly realistic. Especially gratifying is the way suffering transforms the characters, for good or for ill, and Ms. Marillier's refusal to adhere to traditional stereotypes. I look forward to the second volume.


The Tower at Stony Wood: A Novel
The Tower at Stony Wood: A Novel
von Patricia A. McKillip
  Gebundene Ausgabe

4.0 von 5 Sternen Intriguing, engaging fantasy, 23. Juli 2000
This is a beautiful fantasy, weaving the stories of a woman in a tower, a knight searching for a way to free her, and another young man, attempting to free his country from outside domination. As usual, Patricia McKillip's prose is exquisite and lyrical, her characters interesting and well-drawn. The plot, however, was a trifle hard to follow, especially with the shifting perspectives and the plethora of towers, but, overall, a very nice read.


Heart of Gold: A Novel
Heart of Gold: A Novel
von Sharon Shinn
  Taschenbuch

4.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting and thoughtful, 18. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Heart of Gold: A Novel (Taschenbuch)
In "Heart of Gold," Sharon Shinn builds a world in which two conflicting societies, the matriarchial indigo and patriarchial gulden have an uneasy coexistence.
This book is very interesting, in terms of world-building, with some interesting plot twists. The society has some striking parallels with nineteenth-century America, or South Africa under apartheid; and the plot deals with important themes: sexism, racism, genocide, and social expectations. Nolan is a very sympathetic character: Kit, somewhat less so. She seems to spend quite a lot of time rebelling for the sake of rebelling. I also did not understand why such an intelligent woman was involved with such a cruel, violent person as Jex. I thought her character definitely came alive toward the end of the novel.
Although this novel was very good, it lacked the emotional intensity of her other works, which was why I rated it as four stars. Good, but not as great as the superb Sharon Shinn usually writes.


My Grandfather's Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging
My Grandfather's Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging
von Rachel Naomi Remen
  Gebundene Ausgabe

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Profoundly moving and inspirational, 14. Juli 2000
In "My Grandfather's Blessings," Dr. Rachel Remen uses stories of her rabbi grandfather, her patients and herself to illustrate ways in which illness and death can bring hope, insight, and transformation into peoples' lives. She gives especial attention to the conflicts between the way in which science and medicine has been traditionally practiced and religion and spirituality.
This book is a wonderful, luminous primer for restoring a sense of soul to science. I cannot recommend it highly enough.


Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of Our Elders
Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of Our Elders
von Mary Pipher
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 12,59

4.0 von 5 Sternen Insightful, useful look at aging, 5. Juli 2000
In "Another Country," the acclaimed Mary Pipher of "Reviving Ophelia" discusses the issues surrounding caring for the aged, and aging itself. Her explanations surrounding the cultural gap between the baby boomers and their aged parents are interesting, as are the case studies, which are just grim enough to be realistic.
A minor flaw is that the book is very much focused on the boomers and *their* aging parents, which makes its appeal to the non-boomer audience limited. Added to which, she does not cover the poor, destitute, or those who have no one to support them. A good book, if not as complete as it might have been.


King Kelson's Bride: A Novel of the Deryni
King Kelson's Bride: A Novel of the Deryni
von Katherine Kurtz
  Gebundene Ausgabe

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Nice, decent fantasy, but...., 3. Juli 2000
In "King Kelson's Bride," Katherine Kurtz once again returns to the saga of Kelson Haldane, this time focusing on the ethronement of his vassal king, Liam of Torenth, and his search for a new bride.
This book had several excellent points. The cultural details and depiction of Torenth are excellent. Those in the "buffer states" of Orsal, Forcinn, etc. are fleshed out. Matyas in particular was an interesting, well-drawn character, and Liam very believable. I also enjoyed reading about Jehana's progression.
However. All of Ms. Kurtz's recent books seem to suffer from a major flaw - the heros are models of perfection, the villians, evil, scheming demons without one redeeming quality. Camber had his share of flaws, as did Morgan, in her earlier works, but not Kelson. Frankly, the character of Conall was incredibly believable to me - who wouldn't react against a pair of self-righteous noble demi-gods like Kelson and Dhugal? I was sorry when Ms. Kurtz killed him off. Also, with the addition of so many characters, familiar, well-loved ones were reduced to cameo appearances - did Duncan even *speak* until the end of the book?
As the Deryni Chronicles have progressed, one can see Ms. Kurtz's growth as a writer and historian: incidents are more fully fleshed out, descriptions more interesting and detailed, situations more complex. Unfortunately, her characters and plots have grown correspondingly less interesting. A good book with a good plot, but, I have to say, I agree with the other writer who misses Morgan and Duncan in their heyday.


Black and Blue: A Novel
Black and Blue: A Novel
von Anna Quindlen
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 17,37

3.0 von 5 Sternen Disappointing, 1. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Black and Blue: A Novel (Gebundene Ausgabe)
I gave this book three stars, because it, in some respects, is typical Anna Quindlen. Well-written, with a well-paced plot, lyrical flow, and gentle style.
I could not, however, ever quite manage to transcend my dislike for the main character. Yes, Fran has been victimized, and, yes, she has flaws and is imperfect and human like the rest of us. Her behavior, however, is so disjointed and dislikeable, it was impossible to warm up to her, and a remark the character makes toward the end of the book makes it clear she has learned nothing from her experience. In her effort to show the strained dance between abuser and abused, perpertrator and victim, Ms. Quindlen creates a character who, despite her best efforts, would enable the same behavior that nearly destroyed her.
This story left me with very little hope for any of the main characters. A real disappointment from the usually-excellent Anna Quindlen.


Women of Courage: Inspiring Stories from the Women Who Lived Them: Inspiring Stories from the Women Who Live Them (People Who Dare)
Women of Courage: Inspiring Stories from the Women Who Lived Them: Inspiring Stories from the Women Who Live Them (People Who Dare)
von Katherine Martin
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 12,45

5.0 von 5 Sternen Important and inspiring book, 26. Juni 2000
In "Women of Courage", Katherine Martin has done a superb job of depicting forty courageous women who have followed their dreams, lived their commitments and made a difference in the world. These women are of all ages and are drawn from all professions: from art to politics; from explorers to activists. Some are famous and high-profile; some are relatively unknown. Each of these women has evinced a remarkable courage, openness and determination not to give up her dream - whether writing about the feminine identity of God, crossing the South Pole, or adopting a baby girl from China.
Too often, as Mary Pipher (the author of "Reviving Ophelia," and one of the women profiled is this book) says, courage has been defined as courage in the face of physical danger, the courage of a superhero or of Rambo. With this book, Ms. Martins suggests that courage comes in many aspects, all of which are important and valuable. I would especially recommend this book as a gift to young women, although both genders and all ages should find it enjoyable.


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