Friday, May 24, 2013

Injustice Can Be Found Anywhere! Cindi Gale's Debut Novel Speaks for the Accused...

"Lars took my lunchbox, scouted the land around the violet patch, and pushed our lunches past some grass into a crack in the ground. It was a good refrigerator, and shaded too. Finally we were free, like when the teacher released us at the door to the blacktop and recess was officially started. We could run full speed to the monkey bars, swings, or kickball field.
"Beat ya there."
"I barely noticed my winter-soft feet meeting the prickly rocks and thistles, racing down the bank to the soft soil at the water's edge. Lars squatted and balanced on the balls of his feet. His hands were already reaching for rocks. His long, blond hair fell forward hiding his eyes, but I knew they were investigating. He'd talked Mom into letting him grow his hair, because he was into The Byrds. He played their record over and over on the player in the den, because of "Turn! Turn! Turn!" being his favorite song. I liked it too...
"How do fish get here?"

current finalist in the International Women of Faith Writing Contest.

By Cindi Gale

Sometimes the blurb for a book, while enticing, does not really tell you what a book is about... In this case, it is so much more... For one thing, it is written in first person, Kirsten Nyberg is really the main character, and we find it is more her story and responses to what happened to her family. I think this is important to know upfront. It allows readers to begin to perceive that what happens to one individual in a family, or even a community, can ultimately lead to results that could not have been imagined--good...or bad...results...

The story begins with a poem called Reap... I must admit that the idea that came to mind was the phrase often used: "Reap What You Sow" which is referred to in a number of Bible admonitions. But in today's world, we have found that, in our own lives, sometimes that just might not prove to be true. Sometimes what happens to us is not something that we would ever set out to sow...

Lars, Kirsten's brother, obviously would never have planned what happened. At the same time, we know that many others have actually performed what Lars was accused of. Can we ever know what is the truth? Do we accept what we are told as truth?

"We'd known Rayann Stone all our lives. Our
family and the Stones attended the same church and
lived in the same school district. Lars was the oldest.
Rayann was two years younger than Lars and a year
older than me.
"Because we were in separate grades, we seldom
saw each other at school. We were regularly
together at church, attending Sunday school every
week, summer Bible sessions and camps, and,
since seveth grade, monthly youth group events.
Somewhere we have a home video of Rayann standing
between Lars and me, singing "Jesus Loves Me"
in the preschool choir, as adoring adults cooed and
chuckled at our innocent exuberance...

"My objective was to comprehend Rayann's capacity to
accuse Lars of such a horrible act and her parents'
willingness to believe her and press charges against
him. My life experiences with people this degenerate
were limited to characters in novels and movies...
I was hoping to understand the mysteries of another
person's thinking and behaviors, and there was no
teacher or book to enlighten me...
Lars and Kirsten were very close in their early years. Kirsten looked up to her big brother and he had done much to earn her trust, loyalty and love...

When the time came, she knew there was no way--just no way that Lars had done what he was accused of by a school mate and member of their church... Rayann was pregnant and had pointed her finger at Lars!

Then she had lost the baby so that nothing could be done to prove, biologically, that Lars was innocent...

Two members of one church...
Two students at one school...
Two families in the same community...

One was blamed...
One was named innocent, though guilty

This is the event...

That ruined the lives of an innocent family...

Or did it?

Can something that happens to you over which you have no control ultimately be for the good? Yes, but there is much pain, anger, and suffering along the way. This is what Kirsten shares with us...and in doing so, many readers will find things that they, too, have experienced. I did... Did I get to the point where Kirsten's relationship with God became more personal and spiritual... Sometimes I have... I keep trying...

And this book, I believe, is just another way God provides for us to keep on trying to find Him in all things that happen. Does it matter to us whether Rayann was exposed? We all cry, yes! We watch television and cry out for justice, automatically believing that the accused is guilty... Sometimes they are not; we never really know for sure, do we?

But will whatever happens actually take away the sting that made Lars leave the church, leave his home? Does it help that his entire family was tremendously hurt by the people of their community, their church--by the remarks that were made?

Does it matter that whatever has happened to you also be exposed? I find as I get older that I expect justice much more than I did in my earlier life...I keep hoping for it as well...

I could tell you the good parts about this book, but I'm not going to. I've given you the essential issues that will be covered. It is not often I would say that a book is inspired. I believe this one is and that each reader will find in this book what it is that God wants them to find.

Cindi...If this is a story based upon some truth, may God continue to be with you and your family in all things...


About the Author

Cindi Gale graduated from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, with a BA in Psychology. Following graduate school at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota she worked as a physical therapist, most recently with children in the school setting. She lives in northwestern Illinois, not far from the family farm where she grew up, and is the mother of two sons. Threatbare is Cindi Gale's first novel. Write:

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