Saturday, February 4, 2017

THE DOG WHO WAS THERE BY RON MARASCO

THE DOG WHO WAS THERE BY RON MARASCO

See the story of a teacher from Galilee through a homeless, hungry, and struggling-to-survive dog’s eyes in Ron Marasco’s new book, The Dog Who Was ThereOn the outskirts of Jerusalem, Barley meets a homeless man and petty criminal named Samid. Together, Barley and his unlikely new master experience fresh struggles and new revelations. Soon Barley is swept up into the current of history, culminating in an unforgettable encounter with the truest master of all as he bears witness to the greatest story ever told.

The Dog Who Was There (Thomas Nelson, January 2017)
No one expected Barley to have an encounter with the Messiah.
He was homeless, hungry, and struggling to survive in first century Jerusalem. Most surprisingly, he was a dog. But through Barley’s eyes, the story of a teacher from Galilee comes alive in a way we’ve never experienced before.
Barley’s story begins in the home of a compassionate woodcarver and his wife who find Barley as an abandoned, nearly-drowned pup. Tales of a special teacher from Galilee are reaching their tiny village, but when life suddenly changes again for Barley, he carries the lessons of forgiveness and love out of the woodcarver’s home and through the dangerous roads of Roman-occupied Judea.
On the outskirts of Jerusalem, Barley meets a homeless man and petty criminal named Samid. Together, Barley and his unlikely new master experience fresh struggles and new revelations. Soon Barley is swept up into the current of history, culminating in an unforgettable encounter with the truest master of all as he bears witness to the greatest story ever told.



{MORE ABOUT RON MARASCO}


Ron Marasco is a professor in the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. His first book, “Notes to an Actor,” was named by the American Library Association an Outstanding Book of 2008. His second book, “About Grief,” has been translated into multiple languages, and he is currently completing a book on Shakespeare’s sonnets. He has acted extensively on TV—from “Lost” to “West Wing” to “Entourage” to originating the role of Mr. Casper on “Freaks and Geeks”—and appeared opposite screen legend Kirk Douglas in the movie “Illusion,” for which he also wrote the screenplay. Most recently, he has played the recurring role of Judge Grove on “Major Crimes.” He has a BA from Fordham at Lincoln Center and an MA and Ph. D. from UCLA.


MY REVIEW OF THIS READ:  WOW!  What a thought provoking and really great read.  This is a really great read especially at the Lent Season.

This is a great story for the tween/teen that is looking for a great new read by a new author and with a powerful message.   It follows the story of Jesus through the eyes of a dog named Barley from being thrown away to finding a home and only finding himself homeless again.   

Barley finds a home among the people who are the lowest of the citizens in Jerusalem.  How far would you go to just survive in a city where there are no programs, no soup kitchens and nothing for a people who are the lowest of the low of society.  People who are virtually hopeless.   Ron has done an excellent job in this Biblical Historical Fiction in showing who and why Jesus came for in this world.

So come follow Barley on his journey through the streets of Jerusalem to the path that leads to Golgotha and to the burial site of Jesus.




THE THINGS WE KNEW BY CATHERINE WEST

When their tragic past begins to resurface, can he help her remember the things sthe can’t?

After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to blame their father for their mother’s death, but nobody will talk about that tragic day. And Lynette’s memory only speaks through nightmares.

Then Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, bringing the past with him. Once Lynette’s adolescent crush, Nick knows more about her mother’s death than he lets on. The truth could tear apart his own family—and destroy his fragile friendship with Lynette, the woman he no longer thinks of as a kid sister.

As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets surface that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question their faith, their willingness to forgive, and the very truth of all the things they thought they knew.


REVIEW AND THOUGHTS ON THIS READ:  I am going to start by saying Catherine West is a new to me author.  I received this read free from Thomas Nelson as part of their Fiction Guild.  I have noticed a trend in Christian Fiction where the authors take real life issues that families face and write a book about it and yes they don't always end with happily ever after just like real life.

This was an excellent read in that Catherine West has addressed so many issues and how each family member deals with them.   I like how she has really taken the characters and developed them that you feel like that you are not left hanging, but you walk away knowing them and what they are facing.  This book deals with: (1) Dementia, (2) Addictions, and (3) Repressed Memories.  

Catherine's writing style draws you into each character to the point that by the end of the book that you know each one of the family members even the neighbor Nicholas Cooper. This teaches you that each family member can grow up in the same household and each one does not have the same memories.