Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Romancing the Dead"

I just finished "Romancing the Dead" by Tate Hallaway. This book is Pagan with a capital P, and proud of it. In swift, witty language, Hallaway tells the comical story from the first-person perspective of Garnet, a modern-day, ecologically conscious witch living in Wisconsin who is trying to purchase the book store she works in, begin a new coven and just happens to have the Goddess Lilith living inside of her. Oh, and she's engaged to Sebastian, a vampire, who gets kidnapped, and she is also stalked by a coyote-man-God.

Ever read a book or watch a movie where you are not really sure of what's going on because you're having such a great time, as is the author? Well, this is one of those books, and I enjoyed it.

Bits of wisdom creep in on page 88. A man states that he thought Goddesses were aloof. This upsets Garnet who states "Why makes you think any Goddess is like that? The earliest Goddess sculptures are of pregnant women and are small enough to be carried close, held in your hand-very personal. The Goddess watched over times when women were most vulnerable, most connected to their humanity-when they started to bleed, when they gave birth-very visceral, messy moments...'Aloof' just sounded like what people expect the Christian God to be."

On page 187 Garnet is brought to a humbling place: "I'd lost my house, my lover, and someone very powerfully magical was gunning for me. Instead of trying to suppress my fears, I let them grow. I allowed myself an unadulterated moment of sheer panic. My muscles began to tremble, but I pushed myself even deeper. I imagined the worst...Then I opened my astral body and my mouth and screamed, "Help!"

Finally, on page 265, Garnet knows who the guilty party is, and in a heroic manner she states "I'd had enough. This person had gone after my place, Sebastian's home, and now my store. It was time to take the fight to her."

Why do I like these three parts? Well, the notion of the Goddess has always fascinated me, and the realization that the Goddess being present when life is messy and vulnerable is powerful. And how sad that the God I worship, the God I believe in, is seen as aloof or distant. But isn't that how some people have presented God?

In the second example, I believe strongly in the need for us to allow ourselves to connect with the parts of us that are scared and panicky, and allowing ourselves the chance to be weak so we can call out to God for our strength.

Finally, and this also goes along with my comments on "Halloween H20", I thrill when the supposed victim takes it upon her or himself to seek out the one trying to do harm and reclaim control for themselves.

All in all, a good, convoluted read. I'd be interested in reading her other books in the Garnet series, but for now it is time to read "Twilight" and find what everyone has been raving about.

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