The truth told gently
I highly recommend this beautifully written book. The language is entrancing, not least because the author has captured well the music of Isaiah and Zephaniah in her words of prophecy in the story. It is an allegory of the hopes and dreams of many of us, but also about the fallen nature of humanity. I don’t think it is a spoiler to say that it ends with disaster but is saved in hope by the epilogue–a reality about the cycles of history and the rise and fall of civilizations in the large, and the life-cycles of Utopian communities in the small.
The story spans many generations, but each one generation is depicted by a focussed story in itself. There is a lovely variety of characters, each a unique individual deftly drawn with spare descriptions but telling interactions.
This book sings with much truth told gently throughout.
The author is a friend of mine. We read it for our book club and it does make you think about the personalities in the story. Some people may not ‘GET IT” but I liked it.
An experiment in human nature
It’s an experiment. Can a family, or a group of people set up a society based on love and mutual respect, in which all are treated justly as equals? Can such a society carry on with its original vision for generation after generation?
It’s worth a try, anyway. Claralice Wolf has written her heart out with this one. The human factor is authentic. Things don’t happen automatically. Relationships take work from beginning to end. Adam and Zoe learn much, sometimes the hard way, but they make a solid beginning. The vision, the prophecy of the Red Prophet, important events, subsequent prophesies and light from above, are all written in a special Book.
Though the story lasts for seven generations, Claralice has skilfully woven all the lives into a common thread. We see each stage of the island’s history through those lives, as the community grows from an extended family into a large town. The Red Prophet’s words echo throughout the narrative, as various ones recall them. They are a warning, sometimes unheeded by those who most need to listen, and sometimes an encouragement. The unicorns also speak, but only certain people have the ability to hear them.
As the story comes to a climax, we see who are the true successors of Adam Prynne, and who only think they are. How does the vision survive? Does it end in a tragedy? For some, perhaps, but for others, it’s a new beginning.
Robby Charters, author of Pepe
Prynne’s Island is about all of us
For families that have outgrown the Narnia books, Prynne’s Island will give early teens and their parents some fruitful conversations.
The deepest mysteries of human belief and character have long been represented in fables and legends … and in the most profound tales that underlie all our religions. Such is the foundation story of Prynne’s Island, a tale that looks again at Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and the loss of the idyllic life of the Garden. This tale of a family through many generations appears fantastic and somewhat archaic on the surface, but is actually quite contemporary. It is inhabited by ordinary people, people that we might have known all our lives, people who make us ask how we ourselves are living out this ancient story of human character and destiny.