Monday, July 30, 2012

The Widow of Saunders Creek

The Widow of Saunders Creek by Tracey Bateman  is basically a romance novel- with the typical formulaic plot- but with a new twist- a supernatural element.  Basically the plot of the story is about a beautiful widowed woman who eventually finds a new love.  A 30 year old woman recently widowed after her husband dies a heroic death in Iraq, believes the quaint nostalgic country home she returns to is haunted by the ghost of her deceased husband.  She feels drawn to the property by the spiritual presence she attributes to as her husband. She has an inner conflict, in which she strongly misses his presence but also feels angry that he sacrificed his life for strangers leaving her a window.  Nevertheless, she is fortunate ebough to capture the attention of a handsome, single young man, who coincidenlty is also attracted to her.  Basically, Eli becomes a buffer of sorts- in that she is never left alone to grieve- something that many widows really arent fortunate enough to have. Eli becomes her personal caretaker, handyman, taxi driver, friend, pastor, and counselor all rolled into one.  Anything Corrie needs- Eli is at her service.

This young widow, whose life revolved completely around her husband, feels duty bound to honor her commitment even after his death. Her strong sense of marital bonds and her delusion that her husband is truly inhabiting the house, in spirit, is the driving force behind her thoughts and actions as she struggles to cope with a possible new realtionship with his close cousin, Eli. 
Personally, I feel that Corrie, the 30 year old beautiful woman is self centered and condescending. She is fortunate enough to be wealthy and therefore does not need to work to support herself.  Her ideal circumstances most likely do not represent the reality of most young widows who must struggle for neccesities.  Her interactions with Eli as well as the other characters in the story hint at her superiority complex- her pride at being physically fit, thin and beautiful at age 30, and condescending in  the way interacts and as she percieves others who are economically or socially or physically less fortunate.  Personally, I really canot imagine any reader being able to relate to this self centered woman who basically takes every fortunate aspect of her life for granted while wallowing in self pity.  Religion, and more specifically, Christianity- is viewed passively as nostalgic.  It is hard to believe how Eli, a devoted pastor, can so easily fall in love with a woman who basically is agnotic and has no personal faith in God.  The story just seems so superficial and in fact, is a bit dissapointing that a pastor can be so deluded by physical beauty and fall in love with a woman who basically has no faith in God. 

A strong part of this novel is the fact that the author rightly attributes the spirits and ghosts as demonic rather than that of her departed husband.  Eli, the pastor, is the voice of reason, and Eli's words of wisdom are in allighnment with scripture when he warns Corrie of the dangers of the supernatural.  In a culture where so many believe in ghosts and mediums and palm readers, this book is a welcomed and important voice of reason.  I believe the author should have spent more time focusing on this point. 

The ending is too perfect in the way all the pieces come to gether- much like a fairy tale in which the beautiful princess and hero gets married. It almost seems that the message of this book focuses on the neccesity of marriage to feel complete in contrast to faith and dependance on God. This is a very good story about characters with strong morals with unexpected twists- but the ending is just too perfect in stark contrast to real life. As a blogger I recieved this book from Walter Brook Publishers for the purpose of writing this review.

1 comment:

  1. I’m writing to ask if you’re interested in reviewing on your blog and on Amazon the just-released book, The Mormonizing of America: How the Mormon Religion Became a Dominant Force in Politics, Entertainment, and Pop Culture by New York Times bestselling author Stephen Mansfield (Worthy Publishing, 2012. If so, please contact me: Jonathan Petersen jpetersen AT somersaultgroup DOT com. Thanks!