does not describe me fully
it is where to start

Monday, August 24, 2009

Rejoice in Hope, a Literary Novel

When Caring Isn't Enough

Businesswoman Sarah Tucker Sánchez, an atheist, can barely stand her sister-in-law, the famous Reverend Regina Sánchez, charismatic founder of a New Age religious denomination. Neither can stand Quique, a devout Pentecostal who is Sarah's father-in-law and Regina’s father.

When Sarah’s husband Elías dies, Sarah, Regina, and Quique are thrust into a prickly intimacy as they struggle to make sense of why Elías, their late husband/brother/son, lied to them, as is evident from a journal he left behind. In it, he said, “It turned out that this journal was the only way that I could figure out how to reconcile the incompatible beliefs of the three most important people in my life without being burned to a cinder in the process.”

Was Elías a winsome innocent who had lived in reaction against his hated fundamentalist upbringing, as his wife Sara believed? Was Elías on the verge of relapsing into alcohol and drug addiction, as his sister Regina feared? Or had Elías returned to the Pentecostal religion, as his father Quique maintains?

At stake is who among them will define Elías for Tito, the son born months after Elías’ untimely death. The stakes are especially high because Tito stands to inherit millions and also because each adult views Elías’ true views as a final judgment on his or her success as a wife, sister or father. How Sarah, Regina, and Quique achieve reconciliation with the true Elías will determine whether each has reason to rejoice in hope.

Once again, I explore in one of my novels the tensions among conflicting religious points of view. To that already volatile mix, Rejoice in Hope, a sequel to The Old Prophet's House, adds the elements of addiction, money, and grief. Sarah, Regina, and Quique are real people whose dogmatically held views must bend to the challenge of learning how to live with each other for the sake of innocent Tito. In so doing, they reprise the challenge faced by an adult world which puts at risk the future of its children while it fights without surcease for rigidly held beliefs. Rejoice in Hope is fundamentally a story about reconciliation.


Suzette Saxton said...

What an interesting and unique concept. :)

Hank said...

The author provides a clue which might solve the mystery for those seeking to explain Elias’ deception—that he was a recovering addict. Addiction, a poison to an individual and to his family, inevitably promotes deception.

Judith Mercado said...

Suzette, thanks for the affirmation.

Hank, you nailed it. That is an essential component of this story.