Friday, June 7, 2013

A Light Shining

The sequel to the novel Dancing Priest by author Glynn Young is entitled A Light Shining. It picks up where Dancing Priest left off. Just after winning three gold medals as the captain of the British cycling team where he was feted as a hero after saving several lives during a rock slide, Michael Kent has been ordained as a priest in the Anglican church and assigned to work in San Francisco. There he reconnects with his soul mate Sarah Hughes and they marry. Sarah, a talented artist, finds her muse and creates beauty in her paintings from what she takes in from the world around her. Michael, a man of humble and pure heart, also makes his own beautiful works from the world around him. His is a prime example of a light shining and his love and strength serve to cast out darkness in the world around him. One example is his work to find homes for a group of homeless teenagers that the world has cast out. He also adopts the young son of a prostitute murdered by her pimp.

We learned in Dancing Priest that Michael's parents were killed in an automobile accident when he was a child. He was raised by friends of his parents, who never shared too much about his past, but they gave him all the love in the world. It turns out that Michael is a cousin to the British king. It is this link that forms a crucial aspect of this novel. An Islamic fundamentalist group has put into motion a plan to destroy the monarchy and to throw Great Britain into anarchy. The group executes their plan nearly flawlessly, yet they fail to kill Michael or his unborn child. In the chaos, both Michael and Sarah shine bright, serving as an inspiration to the millions watching all of the horrific events unfold. Drawing strength from their friends and family, as well as each other, Michael and Sarah step up to follow the path that God has set before them.

Just as in Dancing Priest, the author follows somewhat of a minimalist approach in his writing. Simple descriptions and subtle flavors are employed instead of layers and depths of imagery. I would also say that this book falls into the fairy tale genre. None of this is meant to cast any sort of disparaging tone on this book. It works and holds together because the characters are humble, loving, and strong. It is easy to cheer for them even when you can see from a long way off what is going to happen. Both of these books were quick reads, but I am glad that I came across them.