Friday, September 21, 2012
The Great Romance
For those who haven't read The Circle trilogy, I'll tell you what the back cover copy says about each one. Black: The Birth of Evil. "Black is an incredible story of evil and rescue, betrayal and love, pursuit and death, and a terrorist's threat unlike anything the human race has ever known. A virulent evil has been unleashed upon the people of the earth, an unstoppable force bent on the destruction of all that is good. Only Thomas Hunter can stop it, and he has been killed. Twice."
Well, I was already quite a fan of Ted Dekker's writing, but when I read that back cover copy I knew Black was a must-read for me. I'm sure I read the opening pages three or four times and still couldn't figure out what was happening. It was my faith in Ted that kept me going, because I knew when the confusion cleared up it would be so worth it. But that's not entirely true. I'd have kept reading regardless, because the story didn't just draw me in, it sucked me in. I had to keep reading.
Red: The Great Pursuit. "The mind-bending pace of Black accelerates in Red, Book Two of Ted Dekker's ground-breaking Circle trilogy. Less than a month ago, Thomas Hunter was a failed writer selling coffee at the Java Hut in Denver. Now he finds himself in a desperate quest to rescue two worlds from collapse. In one world, he's a battle-scarred general commanding an army of primitive warriors. In the other, he's racing to outwit sadistic terrorists intent on creating global chaos through an unstoppable virus. Two worlds on the brink of destruction. One unthinkable solution. Enter an adrenaline-laced epic where dreams and reality collide. Nothing is as it seems, as Black turns to Red."
White: The Great Pursuit. "Thomas Hunter has only days to survive two separate realms of danger, deceit and destruction. The fate of both worlds hinges on his unique ability to shift realities through his dreams. Now leading a small ragtag group known as The Circle, Thomas finds himself facing new enemies, never-ending challenges, and the forbidden love of a most unlikely woman. Enter the Great Pursuit, where Thomas and a small band of followers must decide quickly who they can trust -- both with their own lives and the fate of millions. Dreams and reality quickly bleed into each other as time runs out. And neither the terror of Black nor the treachery of Red can prepare Thomas for the forces aligned against The Circle in White."
So again, what does that really have to do with romance? Well, just as the incomparable Lord of the Rings trilogy is, to my mind, the best Christian allegory ever written (I know, the debate continues over whether Lord of the Rings is an allegory at all. To me, it is) so too The Circle trilogy is a thrilling allegory about the love of God. In the trilogy it's referred to as the Great Romance. My family (all of whom read and loved the trilogy) and I fall back on that phrase on a regular basis. It's a succinct way to remind ourselves and each other of the deep, abiding, unquenchable love of God. As the story so beautifully drives home, "From the beginning it was always about the Great Romance."
What book(s) can you think of that at first glance would never fall into the Romance category, but when you get to the heart of it, it's about little else?