Now I Get It {Book Club}

Today we finish Seeker by Helena Sorensen. I’m both happy and sad to finish.

Happy because—CLICK—pieces fell in place. On numerous occasions I said to myself, “Oh now I get it!”

Sad because I feel like I am leaving good friends. People who I would like to talk with.

This book put longings we each have experienced and the hope into words.

The universality of this section because we all have:

—A “Chase” in our lives who looks a bit incredulous when they realize, “You’d risk anything in search of the sun.”

—Wolves that seem to get between us and our prey. Day after day. And you begin to wonder if you are contributing to a situation.

—People who ask about life after death: “Do you see the immortals or the sun?”

—Times when we realize that which we thought would satisfy, can’t. Case in point, Valour couldn’t satisfy all of Evander’s longings.

—Other times when we sound like The Teacher in Ecclesiastes. In chapter 26 when Valour asked Errol, “What’s the point of the Fayrewood?” and went on and on about how hopeless she found life, I thought of King Solomon’s Chasing after the wind. Feeling helpless. But then the Errol’s in our life simply say, “People can’t stop hoping.”

—Been like Mina in the dragon lair. “For the first time since she’d come to the dragon’s lair, she wept, great sobs racking her body as she cradled the lantern in her hands. All the longing and sorrow she’d buried beneath the pressing demands of survival came bubbling up.” That last sentence sums up what Velvet Ashes is trying to do: let us express our longings and sorrow so that we feel less alone. And rejoice together as well!

—Wonder if we will need to choose between “a great quest and yer people.”

—Stumble upon something that gives hope, like Mina when she found the part of the lantern that had the same image Maeve had embroidered.

—We begin to see our worth! “Mina had never pictured herself as something worth stealing. She might have been the prize the dragon went after.”

—Been healed by the sight of the sun. And once Mina saw the sun: “She’d forfeited her freedom so that she might bring hope to the people of Holt.”

—Take encouragement from others. Mina’s “I saw the sun” went far and wide.

—Like the people of Holt, “[we] begin to guess [our] strength.”

///

Did you find yourself?

Saying, “Oh NOW I get it!”

Where to start?

I was happy that in the end, Valour supported Evander . . . and sad they didn’t have more time together.

Grey! Two weeks ago I mentioned that we hadn’t even gotten to Grey and her name. Do you think that Maeve’s spirit picked up on Grey’s true essence? Not that she was a wolf, but somehow not good? The plants dying and Maeve wanting Grey to leave almost from the beginning are easily to spot from this vantage point. With hindsight, I now get why Grey’s behavior was so odd and why she would disappear for several days.

I don’t want to overthink Grey, but she got me wondering where we might have let a wolf into our own homes. I was so annoyed that Ulff would stoop so low as to have a wolf pretend to be a child. Who wouldn’t have compassion on a child?! But that’s the point. Ulff wants to keep those under the Shadow with him.

When I got to end and read the destruction of Holt I understood why Helena said in one of the comments that she saw Holt as Eden. Now I do too. Eden isn’t just the Fayrewood, though the Fayrewood is clearly part of Eden. As all the people had to leave Holt for their own safety and were never able to return, I could see whispers of Adam and Eve leaving The Garden.

Helena, thank you for writing such a powerful book. Everyone else, one of the best ways you can thank an author is to leave a review on Amazon (Seeker). Amazon uses the number of reviews to influence how often they will share a book with potential readers. Let’s help get this book in more hands!

And then, let’s talk in the comments. What did you learn about yourself, longing, and hope? How do you see Eden, even God, from a new or different angle after reading Seeker?

With a sigh of satisfaction,

Amy 

P.S. Reading plan for next week and June

10 Comments

  1. Elizabeth May 22, 2017

    So I am finally finding time for this book, and it is sucking me in just like the others!

  2. Ruth May 23, 2017

    I loved this ending–not especially happy, but also filled with hope and courage in the face of the unthinkable. Mina continued to be my favorite character–overlooked, but the hero who ends up giving great hope to others.
    I’ve been using the book Celtic Benediction lately, and these lines from a prayer seemed like they fit the ending of Seeker really well.
    “In the darkness of the world
    and in the night of my own soul
    let me be looking with longing for light
    let me be looking in hope” (pg. 10)

    1. sarah May 23, 2017

      Wow! That benediction is perfect! I love it.

      Yeah, Mina’s my favorite, too. For all her hiding in the shadows, she’s so vivid.

  3. Ruth May 23, 2017

    Amy, are you planning for us to read the last book in book club at some point? If so, I might wait and read it then, otherwise I’ll probably read it soon :).

  4. Helena May 23, 2017

    Amy and Ruth, I’m thrilled that you were satisfied with the ending. Some readers feel betrayed, devastated, but that was not my intent. I wanted to leave you with a sense of profound loss and incandescent hope. The really happy ending doesn’t come until Songbird. 🙂

    And of all the characters I’ve ever written, Mina is the one I miss most. She was so instrumental in this story, and in all its repercussions, but no one even remembers her name.

    1. sarah May 23, 2017

      Yeah! That’s totally what got me. I tried to remember a time that Mina is mentioned in the “legends” that they recount to each other in Shiloh, and as far as I could tell, Mina wasn’t in them. But, I think that that’s right or just, according to what she would have wanted. She didn’t want people looking at her, noticing her- but she did care what Evander thought. And that she was the one that gave him the courage finally to break through and make it to the Sun, well, I think that would have been everything to her.
      The ending was terribly sad, but it felt right. I always feel annoyed with endings to books where they’ve built up and built up the conflict to the point of agony, but then suddenly the conflict is resolved by the simplest of means and before you know it the book is over and you’re asking, “What were they so worked up about?!” I think in some way we need sacrifice/loss/grief/death to be present in the “last battle,” or the story doesn’t feel real. Or, it feels like it wasn’t worth all the effort.
      But, there still needs to be hope, too. I also get really annoyed with stories that end with, “… and everybody died terrible, sad deaths. The End.” That kind of book leaves you feeling like, “Why bother living at all?”
      So, thank you, Helena, for making the hard decision to let there be brokenness and death for characters you loved, so that the story could feel real, but not leaving us hopeless.

      1. Shelly May 25, 2017

        You have said it well, Sarah. It was a painfully beautiful (or beautifully painful) ending, and it pulled me right into the final book in the series. I also checked out the legends for Mina’s name, even looked back at Shiloh to see. There was an “M” name, wasn’t there? Alas, she was not there. And it seemed to me that Valour wasn’t as great as the legends made her out to be … until the end.

        Such a rich story, Helena. I am sooooo glad that this series came to my attention through VA. I have been recommending it to anyone who asks for book suggestions!

        1. Helena May 25, 2017

          Sarah and Shelly, thank you both for your kind words. I’m so grateful!

  5. Elizabeth June 28, 2017

    So June, and Conference, got in the way of the book once I started it, but last week I determined to finish it. Wow. I finished it and sighed a sad sigh. I was sad for a while. But then I got some time and perspective and started to love it more. I mean, I loved it the entire way through — just kept keeping me reading it. I love the writing style and cadence. Honestly, much better than stories set in modern times that don’t seem to get as much creative license in regards to language, they’re just so straightforward.

    One of the feelings I had though, throughout, was ANGER. I was so angry that their attempts kept getting thwarted, that they would continue to be thwarted. I knew it had a “sad” ending yet I kept hoping for something good. And there WAS good. Mina saw the sun. If nothing else happened, that made it worth it for me. But Evander and two others also did, and that made me glad too. But those shape shifters! I hate them. The way Grey still stopped the rest of the villagers, including Valour, who had just started to believe in Evander’s dream. (On a side note, I kept thinking, this is what all marriage issues are about — differing expectations of what the marriage will hold.)

    And I don’t think I would have picked up on what was wrong with Grey if I hadn’t accidentally read the spoiler here. I was LOOKING for her bad side. In the beginning especially I wouldn’t have seen it without that hint. But elders are to be trusted, and I should have trusted Maeve. I did notice the new tree that Mina saw and always wanted an explanation for it, but didn’t get it till the end. Anyway, so so angry at Hadrian, because I had already read Songbird and he features prominently in that one.

    Love the scenes with Mina in the mountains. Very moving. I didn’t mind that she died as long as she was able to see and experience Truth before she did. (Of course I was still sad.) Devastated over destruction of the Fayrewood. Kept wondering about Valour’s Glass and how it would be created. Kept thinking she made it on purpose, that she would understand Evander earlier than she did. The way it played out made sense — only the gods could create something with that kind of power.

    The fires of Holt held special meaning for me and for my husband, certain images God has given us about certain losses in our lives. Wow. That was poignant. I knew it was supposed to be about loss, and I like my fiction and TV to end well. Life is sad enough as it is, so I want my entertainment to be happier. But somehow this was right. It gives words and pictures for what we experience in life. The loss, and how important it is to NAME the loss and grieve it and tell stories about what was lost. We have to know where we came from in order to know who we are. We do that in our family around the dinner table sometimes, and that’s what Seeker did for the world of Shiloh.

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.