SavVy ReView: Ginger Garrett's "In the Shadow of Lions" brings history to life. From her lucious description of winter in London, which was "A feast for the senses: the smoky fragrances of burning coals, roasting hazelnuts, and the last of the young venison, the ringing of horses with bells on their harnesses, the sight of the vendor's stalls lined with hanging birds of every variety for the cooks: woodcocks, thrushes, robins, hens, wrens, quail, hawks, pheasant, partridge..."
To her wrenching depiction of a heretic priest, pried from his grave to burn at the stake: Rose "Watched in horror as a priest, dead and limp, rose in front of her from the dark pit where death's seal had been broken. His priestly robes were rotted, hanging in loose shreds...[his] eye sockets were sunken and black, and his mouth hung open stiffly, as if he had one last word to preach."
The respected Sir Thomas More "plunged the knife parallel to the body and up, slicing the holy robes off, tossing them into a pile behind him. He grabbed the hat that had identified the man as a priest of God and jerked it away with such force that the head turned almost backward. The corpse's open mouth faced her....'Come brothers, good men of God, and curse this heretic!"
Then Sir More "Shouted above them: 'Poena Damni. You are sentenced the eternal night, where the worm does not die and the fire does not go out...You have betrayed the annointing of your office, and it is removed."
Rose "Bowed her head. God's punishment had found this man only in death. She feared her own would be slow in coming...." and then threw herself underneath Sir More's carriage wheels to be trampled to death, but is saved by her guardian angel, and then falls in love with Sir More.
Garrett tells the story from the perspective of three women: Bridget the narrator (a modern woman dying of cancer), who pens the story given to her by an unusual guardian angel; Rose (who has her own guardian angel), a woman who learns to read and comes to Christ through Hutchins (Tyndale's) new Bible translation; and Anne Bolyn, who Garrett believes may have been "one of the greatest Christian martyrs ever to have lived. Tyndale certainly thought she was a friend of Christ." Garrett's other major characters
Sir Thomas More, whose life and motives show him as a man so devoted to his faith and church that he persecute's heretics (readers of Tyndale's Bible) in order to save their souls from hell.
King Henry VIII, who crawls to church on bloodied knees to seek God's favor to have an heir for his throne, but then demands a divorce on biblical grounds (his interpretation of Tyndale's New Testament) from Catherine, the popular Catholic queen, who involves the authority of the Pope and the Catholic church in her refusal. (Personally, I think she was right to refuse Henry's demand for divorce.) He sets out to bed Anne Bolyn, who refuses him without marriage and gains the reputation as his mistress (and a witch), anyway.
Garrett sheds new light on Anne Boleyn, whose only crime was that she "manipulated" the King by refusing to be his mistress, forcing him to demand a divorce from Catherine. Anne became instrumental in convincing Henry VIII to officially recognize Tyndale's New Testament, the first English Bible translation to be printed in England.
An excellent read--well-researched and full of suspense. Garrett makes history come alive---Vicki
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ginger Garrett is the critically acclaimed author of Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther, which was recognized as one of the top five novels of 2006 by the ECPA, and Dark Hour. An expert in ancient women's history, Ginger creates novels and nonfiction resources that explore the lives of historical women.
Her newest release is Beauty Secrets of the Bible, (September 11, Thomas Nelson) based on the historical research that began in her work on Chosen. The book explores the connections between beauty and spirituality, offering women both historical insights and scientific proofs that reveal powerful, natural beauty secrets.
A frequent radio guest on stations across the country, including NPR and Billy Graham's The Hour of Decision, Ginger is also a popular television guest. Her appearances include Harvest Television, Friends & Neighbors, and Babbie's House. Ginger frequently serves as a co-host on the inspirational cable program Deeper Living.
In 2007, Ginger was nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year Award for her novel Dark Hour. When she's not writing, you may spy Ginger hunting for vintage jewelry at thrift stores, running (slowly) in 5k and 10k races, or just trying to chase down one of her errant sheepdogs. A native Texan, she now resides in Georgia with her husband and three children.
ABOUT THE BOOK
"I am the first writer, The Scribe. My books lie open before the Throne, and someday will be the only witness of your people and their time in this world."
So begins the narration of one such angel in this sweeping historical tale set during the reign of England's Henry VIII. It is the story of two women, their guardian angels, and a mysterious, subversive book ... a book that outrages some, inspires others, and launches the Protestant Reformation.
The devout Anne Boleyn catches the eye of a powerful king and uses her influence to champion an English translation of the Bible. Meanwhile, Rose, a broken, suicidal woman of the streets, is moved to seek God when she witnesses Thomas More's public displays of Christian charity, ignorant of his secret life spent eradicating the Bible, persecuting anyone who dares read it.
Historic figures come alive in this thrilling story of heroes and villains, saints and sinners, angels and mortals ... and the sacred book that will inspire you anew. Fans of Francine Rivers and Karen Kingsbury will love Ginger's intriguing combination of rich character development, artful settings, and inspiring historical insights.
If you would like to read an excerpt from In The Shadow Of Lions, go HERE