Monday, January 19, 2009


(Click book for Amazon link)

D. Barkley Briggs manages to weave a tale of Celtic, Norse, and a bit of Welsh legends into a story that begins innocently enough with clearing out brush at an old farm. The two oldest sons, Haydyn and Ewan Barlow, were recently transplanted here with their father and younger twin brothers after the death of their mother from a prolonged illness.
Questioning their faith at times after their painful loss, Haydyn and Ewan wonder why their father has moved their family out in the middle of nowhere, away from friends, school, and job. Clearing the mounds of brush in the field seems pointless to the brothers, and they begin creating tunnels and openings through the brambles to pass the time. One day, a side tunnel leads them to discover a carved stone arch deep inside the bramble pile.

Mr. Briggs story made me stop and think. In our complex world, sometimes a change of scenery is needed to start us down a different path. We often can't even glimpse the big picture, much like the Barlow brothers and their family, and question what has happened. In their case, the move brought them to where they needed to be so that great things might be worked through them.
The author does a nice job developing the feeling of desperation and frustration. A feeling echoed by children in the land Haydyn and Ewan must help by overcoming the feeling first in themselves, and later in the nameless ones.


Valerie Comer said...

You're right, sometimes a change of scenery goes a long way. Good review.

Fantasythyme said...

Thank you Valerie. Book of Names has an intersting story, and I liked the idea that great results can begin in humble locations.