Friday, June 27, 2014

"Rise and Shine" by Sandra D. Bricker; or, how Sleeping Beauty learned to live again

Rise & Shine   -     By: Sandra D. Bricker
Continuing on her theme of contemporary fairy tales, Sandra Bricker tackles the difficult Sleeping Beauty . . . which brings to mind the question, how does one fall asleep for years in this day and less-than-magical age?

Thanks to a diving accident on her honeymoon, Shannon Malone has been in a coma these last ten years, but when she miraculously wakes up, it is not her husband's face that appears, but rather that of a handsome young doctor.  Her three aunts are determined to help her, and Doctor Daniel is on call whenever she needs him, but getting used to new technology, remembering her past, dealing with grief from her husband's death two years before she woke up - everything is hard, and she wonders how a loving God could possibly let this happen.  Then there's her wicked sister-in-law, bent on taking away everything Shannon has left . . .

This isn't so much the usual story of how Sleeping Beauty fell asleep and was rescued, but rather how Sleeping Beauty learned to live again after she woke up.  Though it is a lighthearted tale, it places due emphasis on how devastating it would be to lose ten years of one's life over the course of seemingly one night's sleep - to have missed out on births, deaths, marriages, illnesses, hard times, and good times, and to struggle to recall memories from before the accident.  Even if it had been a much shorter time, would not one be crying out to God, "How could You let this happen?  Why me?"  Then couple that with survivor's guilt - how difficult it would be to create a new life. 

I found Shannon's change of preferences - like from tea to coffee and from never cooking to loving cooking - a good touch to the story.  Having known someone who suddenly disliked chocolate after coming out of a three-week coma (bizarre, right?), it stands to reason that Shannon's preferences would also have been altered thanks to the trauma to her brain.  And I know my preferences have changed significantly over the past ten years without any brain injuries - how much more so for her with the addition of trauma? 

This book is an encouragement for everyone to have hope for the future, to be unafraid to develop new passions, and to seek out where one's heart lies, regardless of life circumstances.  No one is the same as they were ten years ago; it is okay to make changes, develop new interests, and discover hidden talents.  Bricker writes a delightful and thoughtful story - touched with humor, yet not neglecting the serious aspects of a second chance at life. 

And for more modern fairy tale fun, read Bricker's If the Shoe Fits! (based, of course, on Cinderella)

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