Saturday, May 05, 2007

A Book Report of Pocketful of Pearls

Sorry I'm a day late. I did finish it yesterday. I'm so proud of myself. Not that it's all that great, but it's still a book report and it's written. And I'm one assignment closer to being finished. :)

Book Report on Pocketful of Pearls

The latest book I’ve read (and therefore the one I am using for this book report) is Pocketful of Pearls by Shelley Bates published in 2005 by Warner Faith, a division of Time Warner Book Group.

Bates deals with the harsh issues of abuse and a diseased church. One lone woman, with the help of an outsider, takes a stand against the Shepherd of the Elite and works to break free of her toxic life.

Pocketful of Pearls is about Dinah Traynell, who is fighting the lies that she suddenly realizes comprise almost her entire life. As Dinah struggles to find truth and love, enter Matthew Nicholas, a starving vagrant who turns out to be an unlikely ally, not to mention pretty good hired help, as he slowly reveals to her the love and acceptance of God’s true nature.

Phinehas, the Shepherd of the Elite, has abused Dinah since the age of 14 and dominated her life even before that. He thrusts lies and blame upon her until she believes that she is the one in the wrong for not desiring him.

The community the Elite live in is close-knit and strict. Women are to marry and have children and stay at home. Dinah can easily handle the last one, but can’t even think of ever getting married, even if a man would have her.

Dinah is hurt and growing tired of suffering silently. When Matthew shows up, and then thwarts her suicide attempt, he becomes a catalyst to healing. Phinehas is not willing to give up the privilege he’s taken from Dinah and his control over her. When her mother has a stroke after Dinah confronts her with accusations against Phinehas, he loses his excuse to come visit. It would look improper to have a single man visit a single woman and Phinehas can’t afford to look improper.

Her sister Tamara was Silenced when she become pregnant and was sent to live her aunt. Tammy secretly comes for a visit and Dinah risks everything to talk to her. Tamara brings her 4-month-old daughter, Tamsen with her. Tamara begs Matthew and Dinah to follow their original plans to look over some property, while she takes a nap with Tamsen. When Dinah and Matthew return they find Tammy gone and Tamsen sleeping in her car seat.

Matthew and Dinah are drawn closer as she slowly shares her sordid past with him, and to her surprise, he stays with her. Through the smallest things, convincing Dinah to buy a laptop for instance, Matthew slowly draws her nearer to the truth that God is not a mean old man who’s turned his back on her, or worse, is paying attention. Under Matthew’s patient teaching and understanding, Dinah comes to realize that Phinehas has no spiritual control over her. And she dares to refuse him.

Dinah’s mom, Elsie, comes home and is shocked to see little baby Tamsen. She refuses to have anything to do with her. But she becomes hard to ignore. It soon becomes apparent that she needs new clothes and Elsie takes it upon herself to make them. And then she starts redoing the entire house. Dinah’s house of horrors is being transformed into a cheerful home. Elsie has changed.

Matthew realizes the legal implications of their situation though. After they find out that Tamsen is Phinehas’s daughter, and that Dinah was not the only one being abused, it suddenly becomes more dire. He approaches Dinah about obtaining non-parental custody. They start the legal process and Phinehas is served papers. He shows Melchizedek, one of the Elders, and yet again puts all the blame and guilt on Dinah, denying having anything to do with the child.

This all leads to the ultimate confrontation, the Testimony of Two Witnesses. This is the most extreme punishment that can be given. If found guilty, the one facing the Two Witnesses can be Silenced or even cast Out. Dinah speaks the truth, telling of Phinehas’s abuses, to herself, her sister and her mother. She offers proof, but they cannot believe their Shepherd capable of such sin.

Then the doorbell rings. It’s a police officer, looking for Phinehas. A former Elite who went out to marry a biker has reported him. It’s finally over.

Pocketful of Pearls is an amazing story of healing and, ultimately, trust. It gives hope of something better always on the horizon, because God is in control. And eventually, the best thing of all.

1 comment:

Nathaniel said...

Very nice book report. Your hair looks very nice too.

Nathaniel S.