Saturday, March 21, 2015
'Slowing Time' by Barbara Mahany
Invites readers to discern the divine in the ordinary moments of everyday and live an examined life where everything is a form of prayer.
This book is written like an almanac, giving us plenty to ponder month by month. There are lists of blessings, notifications of ancient religious festivals with suggestions of how to observe them, quotes, recipes, and personal reflections. They are designed with the intention to draw our attention to great, but unobtrusive blessings which we may otherwise overlook.
It reminds me a bit of '1000 Gifts' by Ann Voskamp. It's not always the easiest style of writing to get my head around, being something like a cross between poetry and prose, but is well worth making the effort. I think I find the style a bit difficult to get into at times, because as a fiction writer, I've been taught that our aim is to make any literary techniques totally unobtrusive, so the story flows. This style, however, seems to be written to draw attention to literary devices so we can't help but look at them. It's beautiful, and definitely suits this genre, but is just not what I'm used to.
I also feel I need to give a caution to readers like myself, from the Southern Hemisphere, before picking up this book. The almanac quality doesn't work for us, as the seasons are back to front. Our summer falls between December and February, and winter between June and August. Although we can always dip into different places to suit our current seasons, this is still a bit of an issue as Barbara Mahany has written it carefully so that readers ought to be shivering at the start of the year and sweltering in the middle.
Thanks to Abingdon Press and NetGalley for my review copy.