Turning in Circles???

Posted: July 8, 2017 in World On The Edge

Turning in Cirlces

Every action has a consequence. Do we consider the consequence before we move ahead? It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.–Warren Buffet

However, not many of us think about those five minutes when we are in the throes of something that captivates us.

Yet our lives are rambling questions. Should we, or shouldn’t we act in a a particular way? Daily we make those decisions, acting from our motives–often from the pleasure we think we will receive from doing something we want to do.

That ‘something’ may be good, not-so-good, or just plain evil. A good motive is easy to see. A not-so-good motive is often easy to understand, as well. But it is rare that we can actually understand a truly evil motive. This is because we were created to be good–in God’s likeness, not Satan’s.

BUT…the Evil One (And yes, Satan is real and often attacks us through other people) fiddles around with our motives, tells us that what we know we shouldn’t do, or have, is good for us. And because we are human and possess God’s gift of free will, we often excuse evil and go along with what we know is wrong. This is what happens in “Turning in Circles,” a young adult, southern fiction novel by Michelle Buckman in which two sixteen year old “almost twin” sisters make very different, and crucial, decisions.

The following quote is from Chapter Twelve of “Turning in Circles.”

Regrets, regrets. How often do we have them and still make the same mistakes over and over, wishing we could relive a moment, to change what we said or did, and in turn change the domino effect of everything that fell afterward?

There is much that eventually ‘falls,’ in Buckman’s novel, but the tension throughout is gradual. The reader really cares about these two sisters, and continues to hope as the pages are turned that the decisions of both will be good ones, despite the well-crafted sense of dread created by Buckman that points to the probable failure one of them when she takes up with a ‘bad boy.’

Buckman’s stories have been termed “Grit Lit,” as they offer compelling perspectives on contemporary issues.  That description is a good one for  “Turning in Circles.” A cluster of families make up the small, rural South Carolina town, and place is important. The history of some of these families is revealed and strengthens the sense of place so important to southern fiction.

The pace of the novel reminds me of a spinning top, but in reverse speed. It is deliberate and methodical in its beginning, then gradually spins faster until the ending when prior, well-set up actions of the main characters whirl woefully out of control.

There are important messages here for young adults, and adults as well, especially in a world consistently flashing dangerous messages of no restraint. But I would highly recommend it for teen groups who might have discussions after reading it.

Michelle Buckman  is the award-winning author of six more novels, an international speaker, workshop instructor, and magazine editor.

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