Earlier this year I reviewed the fictional The Hawk and the Dove series by Penelope Wilcock. These historical fiction books were very enjoyable, and some were different being more a collection of stories than a traditional novel. Penelope Wilcock is a very interesting storyteller. So I anticipated enjoying 52 Original Wisdom Stories which is a collection of stories that follow the pattern of the Christian year, including holy day feasts and traditions and the feasts of various saints.
The book revolves around the life of a fictional couple, Sid and Rosie. Through various conversations that the couple has and various things that happen in their lives, the author communicates information about the cycle of the church year as well as the truth of the gospel. Each short story also includes a few questions for thinking/discussion and an "Into the Mystery" section which are short prayers.
I wasn't sure about the book when I first picked it up. But, as I read, I began to like it more and more. The stories often seem very much teaching and not as much story. In each story, the couple is either talking to each other in a way that teaches the reader what they're talking about or one of them is thinking through something that is teaching the reader as we read their thoughts. At first this teaching tone was something I didn't like as much because it didn't seem to really be stories as the book's title suggested.
After I read for a while, however, I began to like the short readings more, not necessarily because they were more like stories, but because what they were teaching was interesting. There are a variety of topics, and there were some good things here to think about it. I think that would make the book good to use for a study group or church class.
Another thing that was a little odd is that the events are related in the present tense. This isn't very typical of story-writing. But, after a while, it did seem to fit this book.
All in all, I liked 52 Original Wisdom Stories as I kept reading. The readings are short and only take a few minutes to read through, making them good for individual weekly readings or for a group. If you want to know more about the author, Penelope Wilcock, you can find her blog here. You can find 52 Original Wisdom Stories on Kregel here or on Amazon here.
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