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Monday, December 18, 2006

Hallelujah

by J. Scott Featherstone
Rating 5/5
There's a part towards the end of this book where one of the main characters is pondering her love of her daughter and she thinks that mere mortal words cannot express that love. As she listens to Handel's Messiah she realizes that music added to the incompetent words can express the feelings more accurately. Perhaps if my simple post could be accompanied by glorious strains of music I could better convey the impact this book had on me.

I knew very little, really, about Handel's life. Featherstone tells the story of his fame and censure at the whims of London society remarkably well. The depiction of the time period, both upper and lower class, is very well done. Had Featherstone just told the story of Handel this would have been a masterful book, but he includes several fictitious characters, that seem very real, and who I cared for as much as I did for Handel. One of the auxillary characters is the Packrat, a street urchin who always leaves something behind in exchange for what he's stolen.

Hallelujah deals with themes of purpose, redemption, charity, pride, and love. I cried and laughed. I stayed up late because of the suspense. Every once in awhile I could unwrap myself from the story to savor the beautiful writing. I wish I could give this book to everyone I know. I have my husband to thank for bringing Hallelujah to my attention. He bought and read it and highly recommended it. Thanks, M.

I was going to put of reading Hallelujah until next Christmas and count it for the Chunkster Challenge, if it went that long, but then Carl issued his G.I.F.T. Challenge and I decided to read it as one of my new books in that challenge. So this is post 3 out of 4 for the G.I.F.T. Challenge. It was definitely a wonderful Christmas G.I.F.T. for me.

13 comments:

jenclair said...

What a great review, Cheya! This one really sounds good. It is true that music can express emotion beyond words and how appropriate that Handel's life is included.

emasl said...

As I read your posting - guess what was on the radio? Yes, the Messiah! I have sung this oratorio so many times I know it off by heart and it never fails to move me. The opening aria 'Comfort ye', through to Unto us a Son is born and the Allelluia chorus, simply magnificent and always but always puts me in a good frame of mind. I shall have to keep an eye out for this book

booklogged said...

Jenclair, thank-you. I think you would like this book.

Emasl, I sing some of it when I'm the only one home. I've always wanted to have a good singing voice, but so far, it's not a talent I can boast about, but my daughter has a most beautiful voice and I love listening to her.

Kailana said...

oh, sounds like a good read! And I have never heard of it before. I will have to keep my eyes open for it.

Carl V. said...

That's great, and a wonderful review. I really like the music of Handel's Messiah. I definitely agree with the idea that music can add depth to one's feelings and emotions and can be a very meaningful instrument to express oneself in.

Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

Wonderful review!! Onto the TBR Mountain this one goes!

Heather
www.thelibraryladder.blogspot.com

Angela/SciFiChick said...

Wow, this sounds great. I'm going to have to grab this one.

Janet said...

This book sound good. I am going to give it a try. I'll let you know what I think.

Framed said...

Can I borrow your copy? Maybe in July when I have finished some of the challenges. Better yet, it sounds like an early December kind of book.

Lotus Reads said...

What a gorgeous review, booklogged and what a great book to read at Christmas time! You make me want to rush out and buy or borrow "Hallelujah", and I will! I absolutely love books on composers' lives - not too long ago I read "Beethoven: The Universal Composer by Edmund Morris and his story moved me so deeply, I resolved to learn about more composers.

"Hallelujah" is definitely going on my TBR. Thanks so much!

Alyson said...

This sounds like an excellent book. Maybe I can read your copy while I'm home. Of course, I still have four other books I want to read over Christmas break, and haven't done a bit of reading yet.

booklogged said...

Kailana, I don't thing it's been advertised well. You can find it on amazon.com, though.

Carl, thank-you for the kind words. Wouldn't it be great if we could speak in symphony?! Good idea for a fantasy novel...

Heather, we'll need climbing gear to reach the top of our TBR mountains.

Angela, you'll enjoy it.

Janet, I can't wait to hear your thoughts about it. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Lotus, Thanks for suggesting the book on Beethoven. Hallelejuh has opened a new avenue of interesting books for me.

Alyson, You, Dad and I all have lots of reading to do in that short week. We'll have to cut out visiting and game playing and eating and especially, house cleaning and cooking meals. READ, read, read! Yay! (What are the chances?!)

Christina said...

After this review I have got to get this book. Like I need more. I sometimes am lured in by a great review like this one and the story sounds amazing. I have to go to Amazon and order it to read during the new year.