Light vs Dark

The Dark is Rising
A recent paper­back cov­er, I quite like this. It’s as ele­gant as the sto­ry itself.

Do you have a book that you re-read peri­od­i­cal­ly? At least every few years? Some­times more often?

For me, it’s The Dark is Ris­ing by Susan Coop­er. I have read thou­sands of books in my life­time, but this book stands out as the one that cap­tured my full heart, mind, and imag­i­na­tion. When I think of it, a hush falls over me. I respect this book on many levels.

Each time I read about Will Stan­ton, met with chal­lenges that threat­en his fam­i­ly, his vil­lage, not to men­tion his life, I am filled with won­der. How did the author write about such dire cir­cum­stances while keep­ing the read­er assured that good would find a way to defeat evil?

That’s what I notice most about The Dark is Ris­ing, even more than the oth­er books in this series. Coop­er writes about a sky laden with snow, the heav­i­ness of it, the blan­ket­ing of feel­ing and sound. Sur­round­ed by the men­ace of weath­er that shouldn’t be that way, the read­er finds places of com­fort. Fam­i­ly, the church, tra­di­tions, many of the vil­lagers … these are peo­ple and parts of life that we can count on to sup­port us, defend us, and sur­round us with love and security.

The Dark is Rising
This is the orig­i­nal hard­cov­er dust jacket.

We’re liv­ing in a time where we’re aware of how much Dark there is in the world. This book is need­ed. Our movies and tele­vi­sion shows and many books are filled with anti-heroes and prob­lems that go unre­solved because that is “real life.” We can change that.

I like to think there are real­ly Old Ones out there, like Mer­ri­man Lyon and Miss Greythorne, who are look­ing out for world, lead­ing the fight against the Dark. We can’t rely on Old Ones: we need to be remind­ed that it’s up to us to push the Dark back so the Light can shine brightly.

I enjoyed the romp of the first few Har­ry Pot­ter books, but they are sim­ply not as cap­ti­vat­ing and reas­sur­ing as The Dark is Ris­ing. Susan Coop­er writes with pow­er, ele­gance, and a deep under­stand­ing of the human psy­che. Each time I fin­ish the book, I am con­vinced Ms. Coop­er must be one of the Old Ones her­self, fight­ing for the Light to pre­vail. We need her. Read this book your­self and give it to a young read­er. Walk on the side of the Light.

(A side note: Do not be tempt­ed to watch the movie The Seek­er instead, which was pur­port­ed­ly based on The Dark is Ris­ing. It is noth­ing like the book.)

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