Well, I thought I’d just jump right in and run through another chapter. I even thought, “Maybe I will just do a couple of chapters at the same time. I think maybe I sort of get this Danielle Steel book.” Then a big issue crops up from Blue’s past, but in the big scheme of good reading becomes little in the face of lifestyle issues of a new character.
So language begins to pop harder, bolder. There is wind of a romance and then, well, then we figure out why Blue hates the church. Little imagination is needed to have predicted what priests and young boys might find themselves in the midst of. I hoped my lurking suspicious would be wrong. Nope. Wasn’t. Father Teddy was too interested in Blue. Remember how Blue in as many words told Ginny, “My bad decisions are your fault”? Well, the priest sort of takes that same tack. It was the “Look what you made me do” blame game. Blue’s piano playing was so beautiful the priest couldn’t help himself. That and the fact that Blue was a rather isolate young boy.
You know what I think Steel does very nicely? She balances that evil. Ginny who was distraught and uncertain how to handle this situation calls a friend from her past, her life from the time of Chris. He was a reporter and Ginny called him to help get some answers. A tiny bit of a romance seems to spark there, but as of chapter 8 at least it does little else. That is not the balancing feature. The balancing feature is that this other fellow is Catholic too. His experience with the Catholic church had been excellent.
So in the big scheme of this chapter I appreciate what Steel does to bring something useful here. It is no witch-hunt (or priest-hunt). Reality is faced, but it is not made into an anti-catholic soap box. So as I think about this book it is my conclusion that to make the presence of sexual abuse in this chapter a focus is to focus on the minor rather than the major. If I am in conversation with another person over the nature of this book it almost assuredly will be an adult. Nothing gratuitous or problematic is in the nature of Steel’s description there.
That being said there are some majors, some other more real issues that are in play in this chapter. See early in the chapter Ginny goes into a Catholic church to light candles for Mark and Chris, her dead family members. It is much more likely that that subject is germane to those around us. It could lead to questions like, is it helpful or legitimate to light candles for a dead family member? What does that mean? Does it accomplish something for them in the afterlife? If another person feels it does, why?
Another thing that is of concern to me is how Kevin, her reporter friend, seems to embrace his Catholicism and yet have a promiscuous lifestyle with women, even ones half his age. He told Ginny he was a little embarrassed by it, but it was fun for him. The fun sort of kept him from walking away from it. Is it okay for a practicing Catholic to be living a lifestyle like this?
Does reading a book like this cause me to feel it is okay? No. Would it cause a weaker Christian to think it was? I don’t know. I would figure probably not. Then there is more robust use of crass words. Huge deal? Each person would likely have their own take. For me I interpret my world through my understanding of the scripture. That includes books like this. Is reading a book like this a waste of time? Anything done to excess is probably in that vein. I have never studied a novel anywhere near as in depth as I have this book. It’s kind of been interesting to see it unfold.