Category Archives: Storytelling

Foreword Clarion Review of Redemption

Foreword Clarion Review of Redemption               

“An admirable command of language brings to every scene a striking visual clarity.”

A lost manuscript from 1975 reveals the depths of a sensitive man’s soul in this pondering look at life nearing a crossroads. Not until 2011 did Ian Prattis pick up his heartfelt novel again, a book he titled Redemption. Set in the Hebrides off the northwest coast of Scotland, an unpretentious locale steeped in regional culture, this story focuses on an eccentric yet down-to-earth protagonist named Callum Mor. Subject to individual understanding and loaded with the symbolism often found in parables, the book alludes to more than what is openly stated in the narrative. Like all interpretive fiction, Prattis’s writing will communicate a different meaning to anyone who attempts to analyze his carefully crafted words. Short but powerful, Redemption may leave a person wondering whether pieces of this tale were intentionally obscured, for the plot covers an extensive period of time from Callum Mor’s childhood to maturity.

An admirable command of language brings to every scene a striking visual clarity. In this descriptive passage, the devastated mood surrounding Callum Mor’s father can be seen and felt in contrast to the harsh elements of nature: “In the wake of the gale, the day had produced a hazy sunlight that made the reeds in the marsh glimmer, but the unexpected heat in the day could do nothing to warm the cold, vacant, deadness that now enveloped Andrew.”

As Callum Mor ages, he slips into abject loneliness and succumbs to alcoholism before he goes through a positive reawakening. Gentle, with a poignant affection for animals, this cosmically aware lover of God’s creatures seems to collapse under the brutality of man’s instinct to inflict pain. To a certain degree, this somewhat typical view of morality confronting immorality causes the novel to fall into a vague realm of timeless storytelling for any indefinable, poetic piece without a specific purpose. This does not detract from the literary quality, but anyone seeking an indisputable message will not find it here. In this scene, winter emerges as a villainous character: “The wind from the north soughed softly along the shore but froze any man it gripped. The cold stole into every door and numbed the hands and minds of those unprepared for it.”

Ian Prattis is a professor of anthropology and religion. A peace and environmental activist, he was born in the UK. Prattis has spent much of his life living and teaching in Canada. This moving and eye-opening book will be a memorable experience for anyone who enjoys reading about primordial tendencies. Beneath a polished urban facade remains a part of human nature that few want to acknowledge, either due to fear or simply because it is easier to deny the basic instincts that have kept us alive on an unforgiving earth.

Julia Ann Charpentier

Available at www.Amazon.com  and www.BarnesandNoble.com   Autographed Book – Order Through: http://www.ianprattis.com/Redemption.html

 

Taking Refuge in Grandchildren

Essay Eight: Taking Refuge in Grandchildren                                                                   

 

Taking refuge can provide delightful surprises. It is not always a Zen teacher, wise sister or high monk who is there to provide guidance and insight. My grandson Callun has provided quite a few for me. His home is the town Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. One summer holiday Carolyn and I spent a sea kayaking adventure with Callun and his father Iain, exploring the fascinating coastline of Vancouver Island. On one occasion when Iain and Carolyn went shopping, I stayed at the house to meditate. Callun was playing outside. He came in crying after a while and tapped me on the shoulder. “Grand Pooh Bear,” that is what he called me when he was a little boy. “Grand Pooh Bear, sorry to disturb your practice but I’ve been stung by a bee on my neck and it hurts.” I opened my eyes and took Callun into my arms and said, “My dear Callun, you are my practice.” I gently took the stinger out of his neck, put some ice on it and cuddled him for a while before he happily went outside again to play. He had brought home to me that all of life is my practice. To my grandson Callun I bow in gratitude for being such a mindfulness bell for me.

When I take refuge in this manner, I am aware of Buddha nature being graciously presented to me. Another grandchild, Millie, sent me some drawings for my birthday quite a few years ago. With her five year old determination she endeavored to draw a picture of me with no feet, only one arm, with a fuzzy beard, jug handle ears and much slimmer than in reality! Over my head she had drawn a yellow halo, which is totally undeserving, yet I learned that this is how Millie thinks of me. She was revealing her Buddha nature to her grandfather and I joyfully took refuge in her love and kindness.

Several years ago, after leading a meditation retreat on the British Columbia mainland I arranged to take a ferry across to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island to visit with my son and grandson Callun. It was a beautiful calm sea voyage with the sunset dancing in the wake of the ferry. Although I was tired from the retreat, this was a delightful respite. Both Iain and Callun were there as the boat docked in Nanaimo. As it was almost Callun’s bedtime, he asked if I would read him a story once we got to their home. I was happy to do this. Callun quickly changed into his pyjamas and chose a story for me to read. I lay down on his bed beside him and started to read. In only a few minutes I was fast asleep! My son, Iain, on hearing the silence, came into the bedroom and saw that Callun had pulled the bedcovers up over me and was sitting up in bed with one hand resting lightly on my shoulder, a beautiful smile on his face as he took care of his grandfather. My son was moved to tears by this. He drew a chair into the bedroom and sat there with us all night. He did not want to miss the magic. Three generations taking refuge in one another. Totally present, hearts wide open. Only one snoring, but gently!

 

 

Childhood Bedrooms

Extract from Chapter Nine of a forthcoming (2016) futuristic novel titled New Planet, New World, which provides a counterpoint to the demise of modern civilization. I chart a Beginning Anew for humanity, a communal Hero’s Journey to reconstruct society based on ecology, caring and sharing. This adventure is not without risk or cost, as power elites ignore their complicity in the destruction of life on Planet Earth.

Childhood Bedrooms

Igor asked her a surprising question, “When you were a child what was your bedroom like?” Catriona smiled as fond recollections arose in her mind. “I had the most marvelous bedroom. It was more of a music room than a bedroom, full of musical instruments.”

She giggled and clapped her hands, “I had all these stuffed animals and would place them next to instruments and move them around. My father was such a goof. He would knock on the door and ask if he was to be Elephant, Tinkerbelle or Bear and then come in and play their instruments.” Igor was rolling over with laughter. “My bedroom had a large bay window and my father would sit there with whatever stuffed animal I assigned to him. Often my mother would come in and conduct the entire ensemble.” Catriona’s face was lit up with the memories and she turned to him, “What about you Igor?”

Igor pondered whether to reveal too much, then decided to do so. “My bedroom as a child was my sanctuary. My parents were often under police scrutiny for their beliefs. To compensate they created a very safe haven for me.” He slowly gathered himself, “I see the corner where books, paintings and wooden stools are piled up in disarray. My bed had two levels, one for me to sleep upon and the other for my stuffed animals to talk to before sleeping. It was a comfortable bed with large pillows and green checkered blankets. I had a telescope next to the window and I would fly in my mind to galaxies with my favorite animals.” Then he paused, “Perhaps it was too much of a sanctuary, as I did not like to leave this house. I had to when my parents entered the Space Agency in Moscow. I did not want to leave my safe bedroom behind but my father was very smart. He cleared it out and painted it in colors I hated. I begged him and my mother to let me see it one last time.”

There was a tremor of emotion in Igor’s voice and Catriona stayed very still. “On that last visit, mother pointed to the empty window where my telescope once focused on the sky. I felt the loss, stripped down in an empty space once resonant with discovery. I felt my mother’s gentle hands on my shoulder and still remember her saying, “There is nothing to hold you back, Igor. Your dream is still inside. Now step into freedom.” She smiled as I looked for the telescope. Nothing was there. My treasures were boxed and sent on to Moscow. This was their way to move me on from fear rather than cling to childhood safety. My mother held my hand and stared at where the telescope was not.” Catriona reached over and gently held Igor’s hand, “And here you now are Igor.” He raised her hand to his lips and gently kissed her fingers.

Ian & mic snags (2)

Why Did I Write This Book – New Planet, New World?

“New Planet, New World” provides a counterpoint to the demise of modern civilization. I chart a Beginning Anew for humanity, a communal Hero’s Journey to reconstruct society based on ecology, caring and sharing. This adventure is not without risk or cost, as power elites ignore their complicity in the destruction of life on Planet Earth.

The book opens with a lyrical and dangerous meeting on a distant planet later this century. The protagonists are from different centuries and cultures. From the 18th century Rising Moon is hurled by shamanic means to Planet Horizon in a nearby galaxy. From the 21st century Catriona gets there from a failing spaceship in an escape module. Wisdom of the Elders meets 21st century Hi-Tech. Instead of killing one another they choose to be blood sisters and embrace survival, accepting nature as a Matriarch. This fragile thread is challenged by the brutal abduction and rape of a main character, Sian the Celtic seer. Her inner strength, of being more than a violated body, inspires the community of pioneers who escape safely from the spaceship. They create a communal structure of living and carve out a home and life on the new planet.

Four Hopi Sacred Keepers offer their lives in a ceremony to enable renewal on a distant planet that none of them will experience. Mysticism combines with hi-tech to enable a Transfer Particle to seed the new planet and establish settlements. The expansion of communities is interrupted by a jihadist attempt to take over. A terrorist cell on Earth hijacks a spaceship and imperils the lives of the pioneers, who respond with tactical violence to kill them. Compassion is exercised towards sleeper jihadists secretly embedded in their midst. The stark violence of survival prepares a backcloth for three distinct love stories to emerge. Ethical settlements grow as a mirror for Tolstoy’s vision of “people of the twenty fifth century” – ahead of their time. The dark episodes and lyrical passages move the story along with action, fear, resolution, death, rape, bravery and exile in a futuristic opportunity for humanity. This action packed book ends on a philosophical note concerning our place in the centuries to come.

Intertwining plotlines arc into the epiphany of the final chapter, which muses about human survival anywhere. This end game is a philosophy of the future. The inclusiveness of science combines with Tolstoy’s vision, Pope Francis’ Climate Change Encyclical and not repeating the mistakes of the carbon cabal. The underlying message is from Tolstoy, the ‘Conscience of Humanity.’ He described humanity’s bottom line as the cultivation of love, the mainspring for authentic and responsible living.

I do not present this as idealism, rather as down to earth wisdom. That is why I wrote this futuristic novel. It is the final bookend of a trilogy – “Chronicles of Awakening.” Redemption is the first book in this trilogy that has Trailing Sky Six Feathers as the second book. The final tome of this trilogy takes characters from the prior two books, placing them in the future on a new planet. I place in the mouth of Dr. Tom Hagen a blistering rant to the UN in 2080 that I would certainly like to give from the future. It is about the willful ignorance displayed by corporate and government cabals invested in the carbon/oil complex, while eco militias murder in the streets and social disorder is a norm.

The First chapter describes tension then co-operation between Catriona and Rising Moon. Instead of harming one another they create a safe haven and save other young people ejected in escape crafts. The Second chapter documents the desolation of Planet Earth, the location of Planet Horizon and establishment of space stations on Mars and Jupiter. Chapter Three relates the destruction of the spaceship and safe landing of some of the pioneer travellers. Chapter Four is a love story and the search for children ejected in escape modules from the spaceship. Chapter Five provides vision for community building. Chapter Six is dark with the tragedy of rape yet permits the human spirit to prevail. Chapter Seven documents the flourishing communities established – Eco-villages and towns plus Wisdom of the Elders villages. The battle with jihadists in Chapter Eight is not for the squeamish. It ushers in the end of innocence and the beginning of wisdom. Chapter Nine is a tender love story, accompanied by Catriona’s shamanic preparation. The final Chapter Ten muses philosophically about human survival anywhere.

 

Interplanetary

2015 Quill Award Winner

FOCUS ON WOMEN MAGAZINE

Dear Ian Prattis,

We thank you for your willingness to attend our very special author’s reception and congratulate you on winning the Donna Lynn Quill Award for your book Trailing Sky Six Feathers.

Front Cover Trailing Sky Six Feathers

Those in the literary world definitely believe in the power of the pen.  You have been gifted with the ability to move, encourage and inspire others through your words.  In your book you write about ethics, religion, personal experiences, spirituality, transformation and excel at the task.  We are thrilled that you will be joining us at the author’s reception here in Columbia, Maryland at a location that is sophisticated, elegant and historic, The Johns Hopkins Club.  You can expect to meet a number of people who have been touched by your practical advice, journey and teachings.  It is a phenomenal opportunity to get to know others, exchange ideas, network and stake your claim to fame as you sign your books for attendees.  This is an event that we hold every year and it is near and dear to our hearts since it is impossible to place a value on reading.  We appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to be here, celebrate your accomplishments with this literary masterpiece and help others better express themselves and their thoughts and feelings.  It is often said that the more you read, the better you will be able to write and you just might inspire a future generation of incoming authors.  We wish you the very best and commend you on the recognition you will receive next month.

Sincerest congratulations,

Joslyn Wolfe

Focus on Women Magazine

410-630-1224

http://www.focusonwomenmagazine.net

2015 TIFERET INTERVIEW: Part One

2015 TIFERET INTERVIEW with MELISSA STUDDARD: Part One 

Tiferet Journal is at the nexus of literature and spirituality. It publishes high-quality poetry, prose and art that further meaningful dialogue about what it is to be human and conscious in today’s often divisive world. The entire interview is in Tiferet Journal, Summer 2015 http://tiferetjournal.com/

MS: Redemption the manuscript has been on quite a journey. It was written in 1975, lost for decades, rediscovered in 2011, and published in 2014. In what ways is this journey relevant or parallel to Redemption’s plot? What do you hope will be the next stage of this book’s journey?

IP: In 1975 I was writing way over my head and lacked the maturity to understand the deep nuances emerging from my pen. The book was writing me and it is fitting that it was not published until 2014, as the time lapse allowed me to grow into the insights and revelations writ large. I was a total mess in 1975 – with a failing marriage in the Hebrides and trying to keep my career intact as a young professor at Carleton University in Canada. I was not doing a good job with either. The surprise for me in 2011 was how could I have written such a powerful book while in a desperate state of mind? The themes of mental illness and alcoholism are writ large in this deep and turbulent Hero’s Journey to emancipation. Redemption is an allegory for the depression and life difficulties I once experienced, though I did not realize it at that time.

Redemption front cover

MS: Speaking of the Hero’s journey, can you say a bit about the connection between Redemption and Trailing Sky Six Feathers and why the Hero’s journey works so well to convey your ideas? 

IP: I consider Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey as an underlying template for all great books and weave its threads through my writing. Redemption is the first book in a trilogy that has Trailing Sky Six Feathers as the second book. They are companions – but the reader may not cotton on to that until they read the final chapter of Trailing Sky Six Feathers. Chapter Nine is titled “The Circle Closes” with a return to memories of the insane sea journeys I undertook in the Hebrides. That chapter is quite an “AHAH” moment. The final book in the trilogy (under construction) takes characters from both books, placing them in the future on a new planet. From the 18th century, Rising Moon (daughter of Trailing Sky) is hurled by shamanic means to the new planet. From the 21st century Tom and Sian Hagen with their daughter Catriona get there from a failing spaceship. Life on the new planet permits a beginning anew for our species – A Hero’s Journey to reconstruct a society based on ecology, sharing and caring.

But there are calamities to endure – a brutal abduction and rape, a militant jihadist cell hi-jacking a spaceship in order to take over the new planet, the desperate loss of pioneers in an exploding spaceship. I do not shy away from the reason for finding a new planet and place in the mouth of Dr. Tom Hagen a speech to the UN that I would like to give from the future. It is about the willful ignorance displayed by corporate and government cabals invested in the carbon/oil complex, while eco militias murder in the streets and social disorder is a norm. The first chapter of the final book is a lyrical and dangerous meeting on the new planet between Catriona and Rising Moon. Instead of killing one another they become blood sisters. The second chapter is quite dark about the perilous destruction of the spaceship and safe departure of some of the travellers. Chapter three is a love story and Chapter Four provides vision. Chapters Five and Six are dark yet permit the human spirit to prevail. The battle with jihadists in Chapter Six is not for the squeamish. Chapter Seven returns to love and nature while the final chapter Eight muses philosophically about human survival anywhere. The end game is a philosophy to endure and not repeat the mistakes of the prior civilization on Planet Earth.

Front Cover Trailing Sky Six Feathers

MS: Redemption is a wonderful and fitting title for the novel because of the many facets of redemption that occur. Will you discuss the ways in which this concept manifests in the novel, both big and small? 

IP: This novel is set in The Hebrides, islands off the northwest coast of Scotland, with startling cycles of maturing and downfall of the main character – Callum Mor – a gifted child, master mariner, derelict drunk, who eventually gains wisdom from a hard life’s journey. He enters the dark zone of alcoholism and withdraws from society with only his animals keeping him this side of sanity. Laced with grim humor, the novel has nature’s harsh rhapsody as the background for tragic human failings: violence, power, murder, rape and madness. Each phase is laden with an underlying opportunity for redemption. The failings are ultimately topped by the triumph of the human spirit. Callum Mor’s bleak solitude is broken when a family with a small girl seeking refuge from a storm come to his house. Slowly, he edges away from his self-destruction. He saves the girl’s life in a blizzard. The glimmer of awakening dawns in him, and this sets the stage for the final drama that illuminates the resilience of the human spirit. From the rhapsody of an idyllic childhood through traumatic tragedies to the derelict zone of alcoholism and then to a state of awakening – I depict the stations of a personal Calvary that ultimately leads to “Redemption.”

Available at www.Amazon.com and www.BarnesandNoble.com   Autographed Book – Order Through: http://www.ianprattis.com

Melissa Studdard

Of her debut poetry collection, I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast, Robert Pinsky writes, “This poet’s ardent, winning ebullience echoes that of God…” and Cate Marvin says her work “would have no doubt pleased Neruda’s taste for the alchemic impurity of poetry.” Melissa Studdard is an editor for American Microreviews and Interviews, hosts Tiferet Talk radio, and judges the monthly Goodreads ¡Poetry! Group contest. She is also the author of the novel, Six Weeks to Yehidah, and a collection of interviews, The Tiferet Talk Interviews. Her awards include the Forward National Literature Award and the International Book Award. Her poetry, fiction, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in a wide range of publications, including Pleiades, Poets & Writers, Tupelo Quarterly, Psychology Today, and Connecticut Review. Learn more at www.melissastuddard.com

Melissa Studdard

Callum Mor’s Ocean

Excerpt from Chapter One of Redemption – Gold Medal Winner for Fiction at 2015 Florida Book Festival                                                         

“Lobster.” “No Lobster.” “No Lobster.” “Crabs.” “Lobster.” “Crabs.” “No Lobster.” Like a medieval incantation old Angus sang out the greeting as the lobster creels came over the gunwale one by one.  “Lobster.” “No Lobster.” “Crab.” Uttered with exact same pitch and feeling he intoned a greeting to the creature trapped within. His huge hands deftly unlaced the latticed side of the creel and with a slow rhythm he methodically passed the lobsters to the boy standing on the deck of the boat.

The youngster watched in silence, transferring the lobsters from the gnarled hands of Angus to a large wooden box covered with a wet sack. He watched in fascination as Angus tore claws, shell and legs from the living crab to place the breast meat in the creel as bait along with half a salt mackerel. When the whole fleet of twenty creels were stacked on the deck, the skipper of the boat, Michael Martin, shouted above the noise of the engine to Angus that they were moving. This was the fourth fleet of twenty creels to be serviced that September morning. Michael took the boat out to sea then cut the engine. The craft moved up and down with the swell of the sea. The remaining fleets of lobster creels could wait while their leisurely lunch was consumed. Michael’s gaze on the boy was fond. Angus and Michael talked about their catch and where the remaining fleets of creels would be placed. Callum Mor sat quietly looking at them.

He had shared their sandwiches, supped from Angus’s large mug and listened to their talk of the sea. His left hand was ugly and red with two large welts suffered from lobster nips. He had borne the pain in silence but his tears had been noticed by the two men. They had said nothing but at their lunch made room for him and treated him with a gentle courtesy, which he shyly treasured. Angus sat on a fish box filling his pipe, his pale blue eyes rarely away from the sea that sustained him. His weathered features and great broad shoulders and hands a contrast to the slight eager faced boy beside him. Michael started the engine and the boat swung south as they approached an inlet close to Mieray Island. In the shadow of the soaring cliffs Angus’s incantations, sung softly under his breath, seemed almost like a prayer. Stretching sheer from the sea for nine hundred feet, the cliffs drew their eyes. It was as if to redefine their humanness, that a fleet of creels was set in a channel that cut through the soaring grandeur of the cliffs. An act of impudence, almost, to snatch a morsel from the feet of the gods. Angus deposited the baited creels into the sea, taking bearings from rocks he had brushed against countless times.

All three blinked as they emerged from the grotto and the September sunlight brought them back to life. As Michael piloted the boat northwards their eyes would frequently travel back to the darkness they had with impunity dared, until the cliffs were lost from sight. Angus and Callum Mor busied themselves with securing the catch in wooden boxes that would be floated at a mooring in the bay. The boy’s arms and back ached from the lifting of heavy creels and his hand throbbed painfully. Angus put him in the wheelhouse with Michael. The noise of the engine made conversation impossible yet Michael shouted volubly above the roar and Callum Mor could not hear. His replies were similarly incomprehensible. Words strung together had no meaning above the noise but the osmosis of the sea and the beauty of the day united them in a way that did not require words. They enjoyed their mutually unintelligible conversation all the way back to the pier.

Callum Mor was dispatched home with a large bag of crab claws. He walked along the pier road and up the brae that eventually lead to his father’s croft. He moved the bag of crab claws from arm to arm as its weight told on his small, tired muscles. His sister met him at the rise of the brae, her bright red skirt a counterpoint to the green jersey of Callum Mor. The two colours, his sister now helping in the carrying of the bag, were soon lost to sight, as Michael and Angus returned to their own island.

Redemption front cover

Go to http://www.ianprattis.com to order a copy.

A PRAYER FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

Here is a link to the Dandelions Dance Company performing the piece, ‘Prayer for the Twenty First Century’ by John Marsden.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt9YGpQto_s

This is what John said when he saw their dance: “That’s an absolutely extraordinary piece of dance. I’ve never seen such a beautiful and moving response to my work. Thank you – you deserved the standing ovation at the end.

All the best”

John Marsden

May the road be free for the journey,

May it lead where it promised it would.

May the stars that gave ancient bearings

Be seen and be understood:

May every aircraft fly safely;

May every traveler be found;

May sailors in crossing the seas,

Not hear the cries of the drowned.

Dandelions

May gardens be wild like jungles,

May nature never be tamed.

May dangers create of us heroes,

May fears always have names.

May the mountains stand to remind us

Of what it means to be young;

May we be outlived by our daughters,

May we be outlived by our sons.

May the bombs rust away in the bunkers,

And the doomsday clock be rewound;

May the solitary scientists, working,

Remember the holes in the ground.

May the knife remain in the holder,

May the bullet stay in the gun,

May those who live in the shadows

Be seen by those in the sun.

New Literary Festival in Ottawa, Saturday June 6: Prose in the Park

Come out on Saturday and find me at a table in one of the author tents. My award winning books – Redemption and Trailing Sky Six Feathers – will be available at discount. There will be giveaways of prior books, CD’s, ebooks for every purchase. Best deal on the block.

Singing Pebble July 4 1

Ottawa celebrates the birth of Canada’s Newest literary festival and book fair on Saturday June 6 – Prose in the Park. It takes place in Parkdale Park from 11am – 6pm. That is right next to the Parkdale Farmer’s Market. So come and shop at the market and browse the Prose in the Park event.

There is an fantastic line up of 80 moderators, special event authors and authors reading at the open-mic stage. Over 100 authors and publishers will be selling directly to the public. Great opportunity to see the hundreds of new books by Canadian authors from across the country – fiction and non-fiction. Nowhere in the city will you find such talent and excitement this coming Saturday June 6 at Prose in the Park. Check it out: http://www.proseinthepark.com

The Gold Medal winner of the Florida book festival will be available too. Do not miss this great day out.

Redemption front cover

Foreword Clarion Review of Redemption, by Julia Ann Charpentier

An admirable command of language brings to every scene a striking visual clarity.

Redemption front cover

A lost manuscript from 1975 reveals the depths of a sensitive man’s soul in this pondering look at life nearing a crossroads. Not until 2011 did Ian Prattis pick up his heartfelt novel again, a book he titled Redemption.

Set in the Hebrides off the northwest coast of Scotland, an unpretentious locale steeped in regional culture, this story focuses on an eccentric yet down-to-earth protagonist named Callum Mor. Subject to individual understanding and loaded with the symbolism often found in parables, the book alludes to more than what is openly stated in the narrative. Like all interpretive fiction, Prattis’s writing will communicate a different meaning to anyone who attempts to analyze his carefully crafted words. Short but powerful, Redemption may leave a person wondering whether pieces of this tale were intentionally obscured, for the plot covers an extensive period of time from Callum Mor’s childhood to maturity.

An admirable command of language brings to every scene a striking visual clarity. In this descriptive passage, the devastated mood surrounding Callum Mor’s father can be seen and felt in contrast to the harsh elements of nature: “In the wake of the gale, the day had produced a hazy sunlight that made the reeds in the marsh glimmer, but the unexpected heat in the day could do nothing to warm the cold, vacant, deadness that now enveloped Andrew.”

As Callum Mor ages, he slips into abject loneliness and succumbs to alcoholism before he goes through a positive reawakening. Gentle, with a poignant affection for animals, this cosmically aware lover of God’s creatures seems to collapse under the brutality of man’s instinct to inflict pain. To a certain degree, this somewhat typical view of morality confronting immorality causes the novel to fall into a vague realm of timeless storytelling for any indefinable, poetic piece without a specific purpose. This does not detract from the literary quality, but anyone seeking an indisputable message will not find it here. In this scene, winter emerges as a villainous character: “The wind from the north soughed softly along the shore but froze any man it gripped. The cold stole into every door and numbed the hands and minds of those unprepared for it.”

Ian Prattis is a professor of anthropology and religion. A peace and environmental activist, he was born in the UK. Prattis has spent much of his life living and teaching in Canada. This moving and eye-opening book will be a memorable experience for anyone who enjoys reading about primordial tendencies. Beneath a polished urban facade remains a part of human nature that few want to acknowledge, either due to fear or simply because it is easier to deny the basic instincts that have kept us alive on an unforgiving earth.

Julia Ann Charpentier

Available at www.Amazon.com  and www.BarnesandNoble.com   Autographed Book – Order Through: http://www.ianprattis.com/Redemption.html