|rachel heffington // goodreads review|
Depending on maturity level, what age-audience would you begin recommending Plenilune to? In essence, how far does it get "dark" before the light of hope peeps through?Here is a question for Plenilune readers from another prospective reader. What is the rating on this novel? Who should avoid it? Who should dive right in? Are people going to be mentally scarred forever because they read this book? (Well, one certainly hopes not.) This is a tough question, and I am not going to give you the orthodox answer.
"Do, pray, find me an eligible book! I am not at all nice in my notions, and shall be satisfied with the barest modicum of virtues in my novel."The reading "group" under which Plenilune would fall is "young adult" literature. In short, it's not a children's book. That said, I actually don't buy into the frenzy to rate fiction that is so common among the Christian community today, least of all do I consider it fair for me to give you a rating of my own novel (that is better served by third parties which are actually good at critiquing). As true and admirable is the fact of the Kingdom, I take umbrage with the embarrassingly cloistered nature of the Christian community and its subsequent inability to comprehend the "outside world." A few weeks ago I sat working on Talldogs and listening, for no reason than that I wanted to, to Billy Joel's "Piano Man," and it chanced across my mind that the lyrics were casually educational of the nature of people in general.
and the waitress is practicing politics
while the businessmen slowly get stoned
yes, they're sharing a drink they call loneliness
but it's better than drinkin' alone
It's not a song written by a Christian, it's not a song written for Christians, but in an arm's length of lyrics one gets an average picture of the fragile veneer of human happiness and the gaunt face of hopelessness beneath. Again, educational. (It's also a fantastic song.) When you pull your head out of cheap, "clean" Christian fiction and look around, there is a lot to be gleaned from other mediums of art, even from the unbelieving community.
Plenilune was written by a Christian (moi), and no doubt will probably best appeal to Christian audiences. I have no problem with that. But that is not the point. The point is that I cannot tell the reader how dark it gets before it begins to grow light again. For one, there is no standard measurement of that; for another, I cannot claim responsibility for the maturity of every reader who picks up my books. Such things as human depravity and God's justice, as well as grace and mercy, are truths which I will not avoid nor dispute. In what capacity the reader is able to face these truths, it would be impossible for me to account for. In general, my literature will be gracious in tone, but my main concern is that it should not flinch, and the reader is responsible for appreciating that or not as he finds himself able.
As much as the next person, I get irritated when people use the excuse of "being real" to create an endless slew of rotten characters. Being true to reality ought not give license to write all manner of subtly-veiled masochism on the part of the author. Honestly, most folk look out for themselves, and do what they think is best for themselves, and as much as I seem to have garnered a reputation for being cataclysmic and colourful in my prose, characters in my stories are often small, law-abiding folk trying to make sense of feeling adrift, of realizing how wicked they are when they attempt to be good, and the subsequent tapestry which is created by a collection of sinful people living their lives side by side in a fallen world.
plenilune is fantasy, but - i hope - it is honest