Through the Shadows takes the shadows and darkness lurking within the lives of its central characters, weaving them into the darkness of the sex slave trade in Sans Francisco and the brightness of courageous mission endeavours, to create a story of secrets and tensions, life and struggles. But it is also a story of grace. Good read!
Elizabeth King, an attractive, petite blonde with a definite mind of her own, struggles to move beyond the shadows of the past and her own painful secret.
A teaching position at the Presbyterian Mission for women and girls rescued from the sex-slave industry offers a salve for her conscience and the promise of a new beginning.
Elizabeth loves the work and grows fond of the girls at the mission but there is danger in the shadows of Chinatown. After forays into Chinatown for supplies, information and a daring rescue of an abducted girl Donaldina Cameron, the mission director, warns the girls, “The enemy crouches like a roaring lion. Keep prayers on your lips.”
Despite initial misunderstandings on both sides, Elizabeth finds herself increasingly drawn to the young attorney, Charles McKinley, who has been given the responsibility of managing her family’s estate. Elizabeth states with exasperation, “You might look like a handsome cowboy but you’ve the twisted heart of an attorney.”
But Charles has his own shadows of the past and feels a growing disquiet concerning the King family’s collapsed investments. Despite growing tension at the law firm office he helps and provides legal representation for the mission leading to even more friction.
‘How many times would he be forced to choose between his heart and his career?’
Through the Shadows is a fictional piece but set in a historical period with well-known personalities of the time mentioned or included in the story. Extra historical details can be found following the story and also group discussion questions, which is helpful for personal reflection or discussion within a reading group.
I would like to thank Abingdon Press and Litfuse for providing me with the opportunity to read, and review, this book. (Copy provided for personal review through NetGalley.)
THROUGH THE SHADOWS
by Karen Barnett
Publisher: Abingdon Press
About the book:
Through the Shadows (Abingdon, May 2016)
As San Francisco rises from the ashes, an age-old battle looms between corruption and the promise of new beginnings.
The devastating earthquake is just two years past, but the city of San Francisco is still trying to recover. Destruction of this magnitude is not so easy to overcome---and neither are the past regrets shadowing Elizabeth King's hopeful future.
Hoping to right her wrongs, Elizabeth dedicates herself to helping girls rescued from slavery in Chinatown brothels, even if it means putting her own life at risk to sneak through the gloomy alleys and rooftops where dangers lurk.
Putting her life on the line for a worthy cause is admirable. But opening her heart is even more terrifying. So when Elizabeth meets attorney, Charles McKinley---a man who dreams of reforming San Francisco's crooked politics---Elizabeth begins to doubt: Can she maintain her pretense and hide her past? Or will her secret jeopardize both their futures?
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Being a parent is no easy task. It takes a lot of work just to make sure that your kids are well looked after. Keeping them fed, warm, sheltered and safe. But that’s not everything that being a parent is about. It’s about being responsible for a little person and the big person you’re helping shape them to be. We all have our own priorities in life and we want to pass the things that are important to us on to our kid. If you’re wondering what else you should be considering teaching your kids, or how you might do it, then read on.
The big ‘R’. Try telling a teen that you’re teaching them about responsibility and they’ll roll their eyes. Or even think it’s a punishment. That tends to be the difficulty in giving kids chores as well. You need to show them the direct benefit. They need to understand that they’re showing their skills and how they cope with a situation. Playing the ‘big boy/girl’ card to convince them to do chores is one way. Another is by giving them more responsibility with the family pet. Teaching them to feed them and walk them themselves is easier to do, since most kids love owning pets in the first place.
There’s no ‘I’ in team, but personal responsibility plays a big part in it. Teamwork is hugely important in life. It will help them in school, college, work and interpersonal relationships. It’s about how they deal with other people and collaborate. If your kid is into team sports, use that as a way of teaching them. How they can find their roles in the team and contribute to an overall victory. You can even sweeten the deal with prizes like football trophies from Premier Trophies.
One step up from learning teamwork is learning leadership. It relies on a lot of the same knowledge of collaboration and responsibility. It adds a dash of confidence and vision. If you have more than one child, giving them responsibility to guide their younger sibling is a great way of teaching leadership. You also need to encourage their decision making skills. It’s important to teach that as early as possible since too many choices can overwhelm a child. Teach them how to weigh the pros and cons of a situation. They then use that deduction to make a focus for the team.
The drive that a kid learns in leading others is an important part of developing ambition. Note that by ambition we’re not talking about naked grabs for power and money. They’re a bit young to be making that mistake. It’s about teaching them to value their efforts as well as their achievements. This is another reason that it’s so important to support them if they’re into their sports. There’s also the capitalist venture side of things. The days of lemonade stands may be behind us as a culture. Rewarding children for giving that extra push is a good way to instil ambition to do better, however.
As a culture, we’re also heading into a crisis in our personal health. Weight is a growing problem, as is malnutrition and inactivity. Sports is a good way to kick start your kid’s health. However, even if they’re not into sports, you can find ways to make them healthier. Go on hikes with them and explore nature. Make sure your whole family has a healthy eating plan. Good health down the line is so often predetermined by the habits we learn when we’re younger. Start your kids journey with all the best habits instead of the worst ones.
Our time in this world isn’t all about what we can do for ourselves, however. At least, it shouldn’t be. We should all strive to be more compassionate and give a little bit more to our fellow man. In teaching children about compassion, it’s really about leading by example. You should treat them compassionately, yes, but show them how you do it for others, too. No matter how old they are, there are all kinds of volunteering opportunities that you can get involved in alongside your child. Teach them to view things from other perspectives and they’ll be a more decent person for it.
Linked to the ambition we talked about earlier, your kids need the diligence to work through the tasks life hands them. We talked about giving your kid chores, as well. A steady schedule where time is given to chores and homework is important. So is being there to help them. Note, we’re not talking about giving them solutions. We’re talking about helping them through understanding and getting over the process. Work ethic, much like a healthy lifestyle, is influenced by the habits we learn when we’re younger.
Honesty is valuable. Not only because you want to know what your kids are getting up to. You know full and well that deceit can lead to major trouble. A common approach to teaching honesty is through strict discipline. However, in some cases, that only creates sneakier kids. You need think of the situation not as a competition, but an opportunity to learn. If they do something wrong, they need to understand responsibility. However, they need to also learn from it, so you should be open to talk to. If your child fears telling you when they’ve done something wrong, that won’t create an honest child.
Raising a child is all about the different kind of values you teach them. It’s important that they realise the values of their own goals and how working hard can help them reach them. At the same time, it’s also important they learn that they are not the centre of the world. That teamwork and being compassionate to others can benefit them as well as others. You can’t guarantee an outcome with any of the lessons you teach your children. However, you do have more influence than any other teacher they will have in life, so take the role seriously.
I really enjoy getting crafty. It can be a form of meditation for me sometimes. Creating things just helps me to get lost in my own little world! If you’re thinking about doing more arts and crafts but haven’t actually done anything yet, this guide should encourage you. Here’s why everybody should make time to get crafty!
I’m pretty sure humans were put on the earth to create and make things. Whether it’s a card for a friend, a canvas for the wall, or something totally random, creating is one of the most joyous things you can do. It doesn’t need to make sense to anybody else. It just needs to be something you resonate with! Many people are happier when they are taking time for themselves to make things.
Getting crafty is all about having fun. You can create what you like, in any way you like. Sure, there are tutorials and standard ways of doing things, but you don’t always have to stick to them. If you want to have more fun in life and you’re not sure how, getting crafty could be the way to go.
Make More Money
You don’t have to get crafty just to make some money. However, if you start making things that other people appear to be interested in, you could very well make more money from it! If you’re looking to supplement your income or even for a full time job, this could be the way to do it. It could cost you more money at first if you choose to take metalsmith classes or something, but after a while you could be making a fortune!
How can getting crafty save you money? By knitting your own scarf rather than buying one. By making a gift rather than going to the store. It’ll take more time, but these gifts will be more valuable to the people who matter, as you took the time to make them yourself. You’ll also have unique accessories and homewares that nobody else has!
Give Unique Gifts
If you want to be known as somebody who gives unique gifts, making them could be the way forward. There are no end of things you can make to give somebody as a gift. You could even make a cake - it’s that simple! The fact you took the time to do it will mean a lot to them.
If you are big on self development and want to gain some new skills, getting crafty could do that. Making model bridges out of lollipop sticks isn’t just giving you that skill. It’s making you more patient. It’s encouraging an eye for detail. There are so many amazing reasons to get more crafty, and encourage the ones you love to get crafty.
Are you convinced you should be spending more time on your arts and crafts now? You could end up making some incredible things, and having fun in the process. Thanks for reading!
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Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.