Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Quicksilver: A Question

In Quicksilver by R. J. Anderson, there is not a strong spiritual thread to speak of.  

Do you think a strong spiritual thread is necessary for a good book? Why or why not?


R.J. Anderson said...

Thanks for your kind, thoughtful reviews of ULTRAVIOLET and QUICKSILVER. I wasn't quite sure how to answer the question in this post (not that it's really my business to do so, as the author) except to feel a little sad and discouraged that my intentions to weave a spiritual thread into the books hadn't come across as well as I'd hoped. Until I read this review from Amanda G. Stevens, posted on Goodreads today:

"...Both Alison and Tori reach a point of helplessness with nothing left to do or give, and in that emptiness, from that emptiness, they are saved. Redemption (though never named as such) glimmers in both books, more brightly when they are considered side by side."

And that is exactly what I was trying to do. Neither Alison nor Tori experiences a religious conversion as such; I'd say Alison comes close enough to be teetering on the brink, but Tori isn't there yet. Nevertheless, they both come to the end of themselves, the point where death or obliteration seems certain, and at that moment they recognize their own complete unworthiness, uncleanness and inability to save themselves -- which proves to be the very key to their salvation, physically and psychologically if not yet spiritually. And if that idea came across clearly to at least one reader (though I hope it's more than one!) then I am content.

Chawna Schroeder said...

Dear R. J. Anderson,

I'm truly sorry my posts disheartened you as that was not my intention at all! For I love your books and eagerly await each new release.

So when I said that your books did not have a strong spiritual thread, I didn't mean to imply there wasn't one there; only that your use of the spiritual tends to be subtle and under the surface, especially in comparison to most Christian authors. And as I noted in my review in QUICKSILVER, my desire for the spiritual thread to be pulled closer to the surface in that particular book was a personal desire, nothing more or less.

Nor do I want to imply that this was problem. We need books of all kinds, both with the strong (read: obvious) spiritual threads and those which handle the spiritual with a lighter hand. And the fact that you don't bash the reader over the head with truth is an aspect of your books that I love.

But knowing that not all agree, I had posted this question in hopes of provoking discussion (which you can see how well that work), and whereas that failed, at least cause others to stop and think.

So please accept my apology for discouraging you and my thanks for sharing your thoughts.