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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tobit’s Dog, A Novel by Michael Nicholas Richard (Reviewed by Nancy Ward)

By Nancy Ward

Tobit’s Dog is a love story amid the battle between heaven and hell  for the souls of the good guys as well as the racists, murderers, rapists, thieves and connivers not portrayed in the biblical version of the Book of Tobit. In this imaginary take on the Book of Tobit, exciting enough a tale, Richard skillfully uses the characters, symbols, and scriptural principles. All the vital elements are there: Tobit’s sudden blindness and miraculous healing. Prejudice and bravery — this time, involving a lynching and Tobiah’s arrest for his compassion toward the boy hanging from a tree.
Richard sets this, his first professionally published novel, in North Carolina during the depression. The Jim Crow era provides the tension between the black characters (Tobiah and family) and the white businessmen and law enforcement determined to keep the Negros in their place. And they are Catholics. Is this how the enemies of the Jews treated the chosen people during their exile?

I relate to this language, landscape, food, music and culture, having been raised in the south, although a few decades later. The scenery, described so beautifully and succinctly, is somewhat familiar to me. More like my Texas than the biblical Nineva.

Continue reading at Nancy's blog JOY Alive in our hearts.

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