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Rainbow Gold Reviews
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
***** A Rainbow Gold Review by Marc *****
So you saw the title and now you wonder: Who is Digby Swank???
Well, after reading this book I would say Digby Swank is a borderline sociopath with strong narcissistic tendencies. In other words, a typical kid, growing up. Though like every kid, he is unique in his own way. His uniqueness shines as bright as the light of a lighthouse, illuminating the dark. Instead of celebrating it though, in the Catholic culture he grows up with any deviation from the norm is seen as bad and the fire of his spirit is quickly dowsed.
It is a very sad think to watch as people try to mold him into something that is socially acceptable and he himself tries so hard to be different from how he is, so as not to be an embarrassment and hurt his parents. In the process, however, he comes off as awkward and weird and instead of fitting in is barely tolerated. His parents and his family do love him (well, part of his family at least) in their own way, but as is mentioned in the book, the people who love you and want to protect you, can hurt you the worst. They don’t see who he truly is and instead of trying to understand him better and giving him the support he needs to be true to himself, they believe the best thing to protect him is to help him hide who he is in his heart.
Thankfully at different parts of his growing up, there are people who make his life a little bit more bearable. Though they are never a constant presence in his life and he is mostly lonely and misunderstood.
I know this sounds kind of dark and moody, but there is a lot of humor in this book and it is a wonderful coming of age story.
Digby is very smart, even if not book smart, and his observations about other people are spot-on and highlight the absurdity and hypocrisy of much that is said and done. At times it was laugh-out-loud funny and even though my heart often broke for Digby, because his childhood is such a trial for him, I always had a smile on my face.
When something strikes me as funny or especially well-written, I often highlight it on my kindle and I did that A LOT, while reading this book. However, this was not a book that I wasn’t able to lay down, because it had to be devoured in one sitting. It is long and the different chapters can easily be read on their own. They are mostly chronologically and should be read as such, but each chapter has a theme and can be appreciated on it’s own merit. For me it worked terrifically as bedside reading material and I read it night for night, chapter for chapter, thinking about all the people in my catholic village and my own family.
My mother is catholic and my father agnostic and we never had a lot of religion in the house. I was always very interested in religion, though, and helped out as altar boy (though mass was much too early for my parents). However, in my strongly conservative and almost entirely catholic village, the mandatory catholic religion class was starkly different from what Digby experiences in his catholic school. We were taught as one of the first things to not take the bible verbatim. Our teacher explained to us that the bible has to be seen in the context of its time. People were mostly illiterate and the stories were written in a way that would seem exciting and have easily understandable truths and lessons within. People had to be able to remember the stories and want to remember them. So the thinks about the bible that seem hard to believe like Jesus walking on water and Moses parting the red sea might just mean that Jesus was able to swim, which was very uncommon at the time and Moses was able to navigate the swamps left when the Red Sea departed (a natural phenomenon), because he lived in the desert and was traveling on foot instead of large, heavy, Egyptian wagons. The bible is a very important construct of its time and still has a lot of importance, today. In fact many laws that are still used to safeguard various countries were directly inspired by the ten commandments. But as were were taught that the humans who wrote it, while they may have been inspired by god, were still part of their time and culture and human, thus fallibly. The bible is not absolute truth, cannot be taken word-for-word into the modern times (as we for example thankfully no longer consider slaves as part of someone’s belonging and thus our current bibles do no longer state that desiring our neighbor’s slaves is a sin). While I was in the US, living in the bible belt and going to a religious private school, acceptance of all faiths was actively taught. It was an Episcopalian School and it accepted me (still catholic) as part of their community, part of their masses. The minister was super nice and prayed for me, when I was worried about family members and when they died. While I was their, the Episcopalian Church also ordained it’s first gay minister, our Biology teacher was a strong believer in both god and the evolutionary theory and there were teachers and students of different color, different faiths and different sexual orientation in the school.
So, the way Catholicism and Religion is taught and lived is not the same everywhere and the way I was taught and believe actually helped me to see the truth in Digby’s observations and the absurdity that can so often be found in religion. Because even if I never experienced them, myself, I know the kind of school’s described in the book exists. And I have personally experienced a lot of the religious and general hypocrisy that Digby recognizes. i have and am also guilty of some of it. The fact how easily some people judge others though, while believing themselves holier than thou, even as they daily ‘sin’ in the way they speak, act, treat others and in their judgement of others is still mind boggling to me. I am gay, but I never once considered that god would love me less for it.I will never understand the energy some people put into identifying others as sinners instead of helping others as they are able to to make the world a better place. In face of war, diseases, misery, dwindling resources… stopping consenting adults from loving each other should never be anyone’s priority.
I love books that make me think and love - this one is a definite must-read! I can strongly recommend it, even if some readers might need to get out of their comfort zone to read something other than a romance. You will not regret it!