Monday, September 24, 2012

Margaret's Ark- Book Review

Even though many of us were taught the story in Sunday school, Noah's Ark is not a children's story in my opinion. We tend to think of the story from the perspective of Noah and his family surviving and being spared by God, rather than think of the millions of men, women, children and animals that drowned because they were all so evil. Because that story has such moral problems- like why did God have to kill every living thing? Couldn't he have been a bit more selective? For those reasons, I read a book In the Shadow of the Ark which looked at the flood from the perspective of those not on the Ark. It's a story that disturbed me the older I got and the more I thought about those outside the Ark. And that's why I was interested to read Margaret's Ark. I wondered which perspective the writer would take.

I could not figure out whether the author intended this book for devout fundamentalist Christians, who might not have a problem with the literal interpretation of Noah's Ark; or for more progressive Christians who might think of the story as allegory or for just general fiction readers. By the end I still hadn't figured out the audience for this book. There was some pretty rough language, which will offend some Christians. The angels who visited th Ark builders were quirky at best. There was unnecessary violence, not as bad as Stephen King. But, too much for many Christians. The author realized that In the Bible God agrees not to destroy the Earth by flood again and indicates it's different this time. God is not destroying all life on Earth, but instead saving those who choose to be saved from a natural disaster. But, apparently God, while having the power to give dreams to people all around the world, the power to give a foreshadowing of what is to come in the way of a not-so-natural worldwide rain as a warning shot, does not have the power to stop this "natural disaster". And this God is a god of playing hide and seek. He only gives the dreams to certain people. He only gives the dreams to those not in positions of power or authority. He is a god many fundamentalists might be able to relate to. But, as I said, I would expect they would have a problem with the unnecessary language and violence in the book.

The books's chapters are numbered in descending order and skip numbers. I thought the Kindle version of the book might be missing chapters. Then, I realized the numbers of the chapters were a countdown to D-Day. I read with great anticipation to see if there would be an actual flood, how it would be pulled off to come at a certain time, since rains would take days to drown people in high places. The people given the dreams were given a time on the day to expect the flood. I thought maybe the "twist" would be the people in the Arks would die and the others would be spared. I love a good twist. There was a twist- sort of. But, I felt the twist here was a cheat.

I was disappointed when I finished the book. The payoff was disappointing to say the least. I felt almost as if the book could have started at the point where it ended. I don't know if the author plans a second part. But, it felt like the first book in what should be a two book set. The book left me feeling far less than satisfied.


There is an actual flood. The device used to create it was clever. But, it is far from a "natural" disaster, defies the laws of physics and thus was an act of God. So, God broke His promise. I expected a twist at the end. In fact, I hoped for one. But, it makes me angry when the twist "cheats". God once again destroyed the Earth by flood, against His promise and once again indiscriminately killed billions. People who behaved the way most normal people,would behave were executed in a horrendous flood. However, this time, I'm not even sure why they were killed. One of the people given the dreams isn't even given instructions to build an Ark. The book ends with some of our main characters on Margaret's Ark. But, we don't know where they are going to land or what kind of world they'll discover/create when they do. An epilogue would have been nice. This book has gotten great reviews. But, I don't get it. I was not only disappointed when I finished it, I was a bit angry.
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