Catherine J. Craig's Cleverly Written Three-part Saga "The Golden Thread" Shines in the Face of Today's Grim Political Events

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Jarred and embittered though encouraged by brief glimpses of heroism during the devastation of 9/11, many Americans are still reeling as a result. In a similar vein "The Golden Thread" threads thirty-plus generations of dramatized human tragedy and triumph together. However, by revealing intelligence and purpose behind recorded events of Jewish history, this literary work provides readers with refreshing splashes of insight into the human/spiritual equation.

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The title "The Golden Thread" is by itself this well-written book's most revealing description. By tying yesterday with the present as a historical inspirational novel, it provides invaluable insight to help shed light on present-day challenges many readers face.

The author, by using story-within-a-story techniques told by the book's characters, has captured several generations in one literary work of fiction, seamlessly weaving their lives together. The entire fabric of the book based upon the lineage of Jesus Christ emerges from the first chapter of the gospel of Matthew in the Bible's New Testament to include over thirty generations of Jewish history.

There are sixteen pages of end-notes easily referencing readers back to Old Testament records from where the text originates. Though there are some scenes and a handful of additional characters woven into the book, "The Golden Thread" for the most part stays true to the original Hebrew accounts. Most deviations are marked in the end-notes. Thus the author, though not a Bible scholar but a veteran Bible student, has attempted to maintain literary accountability to the Bible texts.

The target audience of this book is wide open except for the very young. Older children and teenagers dealing with peer pressure will easily identify with Abraham as he repeatedly tangles with other boys bent on making his life difficult. Young Abraham - referred to as Abram during his early years - was a boy in search of truth who often brought persecution down on himself by his outspokenness. To make matters worse, as the son of an idol manufacturer, Abram was expected to one day adopt the trade.

Throughout the book, intimate relationships between individuals and groups take twists and turns that will fascinate those interested in the intricacies of human interaction. One prime example is young King David during his growing up years. In dealing with the challenges of being the youngest holding his own against six older brothers, the difficulties of carrying more responsibility than the rest, and his father's repeatedly favoring the others over him often leave David in a quandary and sometimes a funk. Women will cringe over the complicated relationship between Abraham's distraught and barren first wife Sarah, tortured and humiliated by Hagar, the concubine-turned-second-wife who bore his first son. In the last of the three parts, the entire book culminates with Mary and Joseph's pilgrimage from Nazareth to Bethlehem providing an interesting spin on their relationship.

Dramatic battle scenes from the Old Testament pepper portions of this book but its spectacular underlying thread lies in the flawless timing of events occurring over hundreds of years - often precipitated by the rise and fall of nations and rulers. Readers baffled by grim news on today's political front or reeling from yesterday's shock waves will relax after reading this book. There will be no doubt in anyone's mind after reading "The Golden Thread" that an intelligence far beyond ours is still in charge of the world.

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Catherine J. Craig

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