The Shadow of the Bear is the first of six books in the
A Fairy Tale Retold Series by Regina Doman.
Synopsis (by Goodreads): Once upon a time… In New York City, a young, secretive street tough who calls himself, Bear, lands on the doorstep of two teenaged sisters. On the one hand, Rose is delighted with his surprising knowledge of literature, poetry, and music; on the other hand, Blanche is afraid of his apparent connections to drugs, murder, and a hidden treasure. Even as Blanche learns to trust him, her fears that Bear’s friendship threatens their family prove terrifyingly true.
My Thoughts: This was quite a change for me as I didn’t read the book or listen to it on tape. I listened to the audio drama of the story; I don’t remember the last time this occurred. The way the story was told kept me engaged, and I found myself looking forward to my walks so I could continue with the story. I haven’t been able to find the other books in an audio drama format, so I may have to read them if I want to continue with the series.
The main thing I enjoyed about this story was the characters were Catholic. This wasn’t overly done as I think I was halfway through the story when it was made clear that they had faith. They did go to a Catholic school, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they lived a faithful Catholic life, which is apparent from the other classmates in the story. I enjoyed reading a story about characters of faith where their faith was not the main point of the story.
I usually avoid Christian fiction, either books or movies, as I typically call bull doo-doo at the end of the story. Most Christian fiction tries to sell a message as opposed to being a story about a Christian. The storyline is usually about spreading the gospel, which makes them only tolerable by Christians. To be honest, I find them to be a little cheesy and over the top. They also typically promote prosperity Christianity, which means if you believe a particular thing and you repeat some mantra, every problematic aspect of your life will fall into place, and all of your prayers will be answered (which is why I call doo-doo at the end of these stories). I don’t believe being a Christian makes life easier, in fact I think having faith makes life harder.
Mt 10:22 You will be hated by everyone on account of My name . . .
Mt 24:9 Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name.
John 15:18 If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
Acts 14:22 . . . It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.
1 John 3:13 Do not be amazed brothers if the world hates you.
I want to read more books about people of faith, specifically Christian and Catholic, where the main point of the book is not to spread Catholicism or the gospel. I want stories with characters who just happen to be Christian. There are devout Christians who live in society. Their faith influences their behaviors and choices. I want to see characters like that. Characters who start to pray when they run into trouble or go to church on Sundays. Characters that think about the philosophy of life in a spiritual context. Faith is placed in the story to add a dimension to the story, NOT to spread a message or convert the reader.
Solely a story about a Catholic person. The Shadow of the Bear was this type of book!
This shouldn’t be abnormal. I read a lot, and I have read many books with atheist, Muslim, Hindu, and/or Buddist characters. This aspect of the character influences how they behave, how they talk, how they interact with other characters, but these books never try to convince me to be the faith of the characters. It just happens to be a book about a person with a particular belief.
I want to read more books that contain characters that have faith in a Christian God. Where this is part of their day to day life, and it influences their decisions and/or thought process. I want stories about people of faith and not a book trying to convert me, preach to me, or to spread a message. In the past, I felt that Dean Koontz was my only option. Apparently, he is not!
While researching The Shadow of the Bear, I found a great webpage: Catholic Reads!
This webpage reviews Catholic fiction books. They cover all genres, and the books are diverse in how the characters interact with their faith. I am excited about this prospect of reading more books where the characters think about their faith in God but doesn’t try to influence my faith in God.