Thursday, February 4, 2010

'Gallimore' by Michelle Griep - Book Review

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In the short time that I have been reviewing books on my blog, I have been directed (by the Lord, in my opinion) to some incredible books.  The latest is ‘Gallimore,’ the debut novel by Michelle Griep.  Its tagline is "a Wizard of Oz tale with a medieval twist.”  Michelle, a resident of Minnesota (a fellow Midwesterner!), in addition to being married and the mother of two boys and two girls, teaches both Civics and Creative Writing for co-ops.  

There is a fun book trailer for ‘Gallimore’:

The story starts out with the main character, Jessica Neale, losing her husband in an automobile accident, leaving her to raise her ten-year old son, Jack, alone and to try to go on with life, broken-hearted as she was.  Her heart was cold toward God after this tremendous loss. 

She is encouraged to take trip over to England for restoration and refreshment.  On the plane, she meets a Cambridge history professor by the name of Cole Hawksworth, who is returning to his native land.  They strike up a conversation, and he offers to accompany her to one of his favorite destinations, Gallimore Castle.  A tremendous storm ensues, and Jessica finds herself in the presence of dashing knight named Colwyn Haukswyrth.  He provides her the incredible news that the year is 1314! 

Jessica is confronted with life as a woman in medieval England.  She is suddenly surrounded by characters that speak Olde English, and that help her into what she describes as “a common medieval torture known only to womankind – a dress” (p. 60)!  She is a very assertive woman, which does not endear her to the men with whom she encounters! 

The scenes which take place in Fourteen Century English include dialogue as you would expect those characters to speak.  I thought I was reading Shakespeare (which lived from 1564 to 1616) in some places!  Michelle really did a wonderful job of transporting the reader back in time.  I could almost smell the malodorous knights and could feel the film that Jessica described as growing on her teeth.  We can romanticize the past, but, after reading this book, I am grateful for the comforts of the Twenty First century!

There is a strong Christian theme throughout this novel.  The Lord showed Himself over and over, and many of the characters did turn to Him.  And there was a character that followed the enemy and called upon the power of the dark side, and he was ultimately vanquished – as will be the enemy of our soul at the end of our story!  Amen!

It is obvious from reading this novel that Michelle Griep is a very gifted writer.  I found this book to be incredibly well-written.  It warms my heart when I read a book that is so beautifully crafted!  Here’s a sample:

“The embrace of her Creator wrapped around her with as much reality and promise as Colwyn’s warm arms had held…  A cancer had been removed, and a pink skin of healing knit its way around her bleeding heart.” (p. 160)

Another one is:

“With open eyes, he saw the filthiness of his own soul in light of the holiness of God.  Every black sin he’d ever committed covered him like open, festering sores.  Awful and inescapable.  He wanted to hide, run away from the terrible light that exposed all the ugliness inside of him.” (p. 180)   

I was incredibly impressed by the debut from this wonderful author, and I greatly look forward to reading more in the future!

In addition to this wonderfully written tome, Michelle has contributed to the following books:

This book was preciously and generously provided to me by the author for review purposes.


Michelle Griep said...

Wow Andrea...what a completely humbling review. Thanks!

Andrea Schultz said...

Hi Michelle -

Thanks for a tremendous work! Looking forward to the next one with prayerful expectation!

Blessings -


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