Monday, February 20, 2012

A Darkly Hidden Truth by Donna Fletcher Crow: Book Review

Donna Fletcher Crow has written a book filled with liturgy, iconography, and medieval history while pursing a modern day mystery dealing with theft, murder, and romance.

The story line follows Fleicity and Anthony who are in the contemplation  process of pursing a life in "the church" while finding themselves chasing thieves of church icons.  They also are finding that in spite of their possible calling to "the church" they are drawn romantically to one another.  This poses very conflicting emotions in the two.

I was not prepared for a book so steeped with high-church Anglican or either Catholic church processes, Church of England history, saints, religious icons, monasteries, and nunneries.  Of these the book overflows.  The author's immersion of the story with this information and dialogue so overshadowed the modern day story that I did not enjoy the book, even though I am a history buff, as I would normally enjoy a historical novel.  However, as Christians we do need to realize and accept the role the early Church in Wales and Britain played in the spread of Christianity to those areas and that from those seeds came protestant, reformed, and other denominations.

It is quite obvious that Donna Crow is very knowledgeable of British and early Church history in Britain as the story is filled with details only an author who is personally knowledgeable of or who has thoroughly researched the material would be able to provide.  The story also takes place during Holy Week and is replete with details surrounding the activities in High Anglican Church practices as well as Roman Catholic services.

Ms. Crow delves into the venerated life of Julian of Norwich, an Anchoress, who was an early female mystic in England and a strong proponent of "Our Savior ... is our mother." (page 82) So contrary is this idea of Christ being our mother to my Christian beliefs that it was an instant put off.*

I really did like Felicity and Anthony as characters and felt that they were developed extremely well by Ms. Crow and that they were truly "faithful" in their beliefs and life.  Except for my personal exception to the strong Anglican and/or Catholic nature of the book, I think the author has a very well-written and interesting story plot that will appeal to some whereas not to others.

Research:  Ms. Crow fully researches each of her books.  Here is a link to her website with pictures and information regarding her research for "A Darkly Hidden Truth." 

Donna Fletcher Crow:  Short Biography: Donna Fletcher Crow is author of more than thirty-five novels. She has twice won first place in the Historical Fiction category from the National Association of Press Women, and has also been a finalist for "Best Inspirational Novel" from the Romance Writers of America. She is a member of The Arts Centre Group, and Sisters in Crime. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel Publishers for the purpose of a review and was under no obligation to render a positive review.

Publisher:  MonarchBooks  ISBN:  978-0-85721-050-0

*For further reading on the controversial, in my opinion, Julian of Norwich see:

1 comment:

  1. Vera, thank you for your careful analysis and honest review. You are right, Felicity and Antony's world is a very different one--which is why I enjoy writing about it. I think it's the school teacher in me. Every blessing.


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