Thursday, March 11, 2010
I’m giving away a copy of Thirsty by Tracey Bateman! See details at the end of this post.
I felt like cheering when I heard that Tracey Bateman was writing a vampire novel for a Christian audience. With the recent surge in popularity of all things blood-sucking (well, maybe not mosquitoes), I was hoping a Christian publisher would see the value in exploring the depths of metaphor within vampire lore.
Let me take a step back for a second and say that my love for finding symbolism within legends, myths, and ghost stories is rooted in my highschool discovery of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Contrary to pop culture treatment of these Halloween monsters, the actual literary works dealt with heavy themes of good and evil, mankind’s thirst for power, and God’s ultimate control.
I’ve pretty much been enamored with the vehicles of metaphor ever since. I probably drove my college professors nuts with my endless interpretations of symbolism in the driest and most straight-forward of texts. Apparently, my physics professor didn’t want to hear my extrapolated thoughts on Newton’s Laws of Motion.
I’ve learned to chain my inner allegory addict when I’m around science-y types, but I’m pretty sure none of them read my blog, so I should be safe as I applaud the exquisite use of metaphor in Thirsty.
In my opinion, Thirsty is a dead-on (notice I didn’t say undead-on) example of how and why we can, and should, use a vampire character to bring scope and breadth to the theme of a Christian book.
Nina Parker, the protagonist in Thirsty, is a recovering alcoholic. Her addiction has destroyed her marriage and her relationships with her family, and now she’s forced to move back to her hometown. But something other than Nina’s personal demons haunts Abbey Hills, Missouri. As the origins of Nina’s curse surface, she struggles to navigate her new path of sobriety while piecing her life back together.
Nina’s striking neighbor offers support, friendship, and the possibility of new love, but something about Marcus is unsettling, alien, or maybe all too familiar. As their friendship grows, Marcus recounts the story of another family curse, couched in local legend, that bears an alarming similarity to Nina’s own destructive legacy.
As two obsessions collide, Nina and her daughter, Meagan, are caught in a very real nightmare. Desire and addiction threaten to consume Nina’s existence as she takes step by tenuous step toward the only true source of strength.
Thirsty is a satisfying and, yes, uplifting read. I think no one is immune to the call of addiction in some form or other. If we’re honest, we’ll see shades of ourselves in Nina’s story. But we’ll also see grace and strength for the battle.
The visionary folks at Waterbrook graciously provided me with a copy of Thirsty to give away. Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite vampire or monster story or your favorite character in one of those stories. I’ll draw a name on Friday, March 19th.
My favorite vamp has got to be the charismatic and ever-searching Lestat from Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles.