“Hey, remember that book you gave me? The one called Blue by Danielle Steel? I just finished reading the first two chapters. Pretty easy reading isn’t it?” “Yeah, it is…”
Now, if you are a Christian where do you go from here? By the end of chapter one a despondent Ginny had been bitten by her annual despair. After this bite a sense of meaninglessness is running rampant in her mind and she is plagued a burning despondency. Whiffs of suicide come up off the pages and then chapter 2 hits. The life-poison that had been injected into her shimmied throughout her being and suicide got a powerful grip on her. By the throat it had her and chapter 2 lays that out pretty clearly.
Only chapter 2 does not stop there. It brings in the titular character and an electricity of helping others works to pull Ginny back from the precipice of that swirling East River where she had been set to throw herself.
What questions dovetail with this chapter?
- Do bad things in lives result in bad problems for people?
- Do big, bad problems bite like a snake?
- Can despondency spread poison in our lives?
- Will despondency sometimes lead to irrational choices? Like suicide?
- Can guilt put into play feelings and ideas that are wrong? Harmful?
- Do some people perceive bad things in their lives as punishments?
- Can we sometimes misinterpret why people do noble things?
- Do little things sometimes rescue people from doing big, bad things?
Each of these questions can be answered in the affirmative. Interestingly none is fluff. The writing style might be fluffy, but the ideas are commonplace. I think most people when reading a book like this do not come up with these types of questions. I guess that takes one like me who is wondering if such a book can have a silver lining.
Most who regularly read a book like Blue can immediately understand Ginny’s situation. Many of these questions are felt rather than fleshed out. There is a resonance from them. It is accessible.
Novels reflect reality
The struggles of Ginny, Becky, their dad, Alan, and Blue reflect realities in many families. Readers will relate on one level or another and be drawn in. The difficult situation of losing a spouse and child would wreck many people. This novel reflects that reality and Steel paints that pain.
People all over the world and all through history have had to face bad things. Despondency, guilt, misinterpretations, family disunity, and other things are part-and-parcel of them.