4/ 5 Stars; Literary
In early 2000s Hawai’i, getting by is a way of life. The geography of the islands mirrors the Hawaiians’ isolation from their loved ones, the mainland, and the world. But there’s beauty and grace to be found in the drudgery; there’s life among the ashes.
Each character in The Sacred Art of Trespassing Barefoot strives to cope with their scars, imperfections, and loneliness. They turn to each other, to drinking, to drugs, and to sexual gratification to coax meaning from their lives; they charge the waves to confront their fears. Turner flips our expectations of peaceful blue water and verdant palms and introduces readers instead to the lesser-known culture immersed in disconnection, opacity, and turbulence, through her strong pacing and voice and fresh prose.
Turner sews together different perspectives to make a quilt of complex stories, revealing themes of love, depression, betrayal, and hope. But covering them all is the theme of grace at work.
Where many Christian authors are happy simply to communicate their message, and to a like-minded audience, there is much to be said for those who write beyond the scope of their counterparts and do so with excellence. It is clear that Turner has a refreshing grasp on literary craft and can deftly wield literary devices to significant effect. Because of this excellence in her craft, she equips her stories to appeal to a wider audience.
The reach further broadens in the way she addresses these darker topics. By virtue of ours being a fallen world, life can be dirty and scary, and literature that mutes the impact of these topics does not accurately reflect the hard realities of life. Turner’s unabashed boldness in addressing these themes not only enhances the drama, it produces in them the ring of truth.
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for an interview with the author herself
in the coming weeks.
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