Saturday, March 23, 2013

Winter Sparrow by Estevan Vega: A Review

Have you ever felt out of place, like you don't belong or, worse, like you're unlovable? If so, you could place yourself in Mary's shoes. She's getting ready to get married to Joshua, an architect. Mary, a painter, can see inspiration on many fronts, but it's not always getting that inspiration, especially after a tragedy happened when she was a little younger in high school. Before getting married, Joshua shows Mary the mansion he's inherited and will live with Mary when married.
While exploring the run-down areas and wings, she sees the one area that gives her hope of a good life, an exquisitely, elegant, and unbelievably beautiful garden (with Estevan's powerful word smithing skills, I can imagine it, and my jaw dropped at the imagery). Yet, while there, she spots a tree in the courtyard with a single word carved into its bark, and something about it, Mary doesn't know what, bothers her on a level she doesn't comprehend, then she sees something strange, if not a little unsettling.
This will be the start of strange things that happen to Mary while she's married to Joshua.
Though Estevan's a powerful Christian writer, he doesn't abide by today's standards of Christian fiction writing, so this is not a light read, there are parts that are hard to fathom, some of the pain described, some of the circumstances that are just out there. And even a brief conversation between Mary and her little sister that implies hypocrisy. Yet it gets weirder, as it seems anything with Estevan's writing does, only, as much as I've read from him, this definitely took things to a new level of weird, yet, by the end of the story, I understood what was going on and why he wrote it the way he did. A beautiful, unsettling, dark, at times humorous, at times harrowing, frightful tale about how true love (not the tainted, flat portrayal in Hollywood films today) looks like no matter the consequence, and the end of it, with some hindsight, makes complete sense to me about what's going on, making it feel more true-to-life than a dark fantasy novellum.
I imagine, if this isn't Estevan's stride, that he will hit his stride and craft a masterpiece that will drop my jaw very effectively, even better than the beautiful garden of Joshua's estate.
Also, it makes me wonder if there could be a potential sequel in the works..?

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