We All Want to Belong
Have you ever wanted to recommend a book to a fictional character? I have. I don't know if it is a side effect of reading too much or the timeliness of the topic (belonging) in my life. My vote is for the later. Three characters in Tricia Mingerink's book, Midnight's Curse, wrestle with belonging which is the theme of Kristen Strong's book, Back Roads to Belonging.
Midnight's Curse opens with High King Alexander feeling on the outside of the people around him. Even though he is the high king, he struggles to find his place. This struggle increases as he observes the couples around him, but he has no one and feels he has no friends. This makes him vulnerable to some bad choices. His right hand man, Daemyn Rand, might look like he has it altogether, but his insecurities and past keep sabotaging the present. Elara longs to be more than a servant and jumps at the chance to go to the ball. The glass slippers seem the answer to all her problems or are they? The author uses this backdrop to create a fairy tale retelling of Cinderella that is both unique and unpredictable. It is a fun read from start to finish as each character comes to grips with belonging and finding their place in the kingdom.
Why would I recommend Back Roads to Belonging to these three? First of all, Kristen reminds us that belonging starts with God. For these three, belonging starts with the Cursebreaker (Jesus). Only he can fill the empty places. Belonging doesn't happen automatically sometimes you have to take the long way to get there. For the High King, Kristen might tell him that Jesus "didn't worry about being on the outside looking in. He was on the outside looking up." Start there. To Daemyn, she might gently say,"Belonging is not a state of your circumstances but a state of your soul." For Elara, she might encourage her to not discount the places where she does belong instead of trying to belong somewhere that she was not designed to belong.
This book is practical, encouraging, and most of all points to the source of all belonging. If you have read my blog before, you probably know that I struggle with belonging and finding my place. I related to Kristen's words and was thankful for her honest and real solutions. Belonging is not easy, but God does have a place for us to belong, and it starts with Him. Words I need to hear again and again.
It was a privilege to be an advanced reader for both books. Right now, Tricia's first book, Dagger's Sleep which is a prequel to this one is only 99 cents on Kindle. With Midnight's Curse priced at $2.99. Excellent price for two great reads.
Kristen's book, Back Roads to Belonging is perfect to read one chapter a day as you figure out your place of belonging. I am hoping to go back through it again this year with a friend to process it more.
Is there a book you would love to recommend to a fictional character? What book is it? I would love to hear about it in the comments. (Amazon affiliate links in post)