Kindness and hope
This is a very unusual story; serious yet optimistic, innocent, loving and sentimental, filled with selfless love and faith regardless of the difficult consequences or the occasional ugliness of life. It is almost naive at times in all its purity, and yet, be you a religious person or not, the main characters, little Emily and her great grandma Ruby, grow on you with their faith in kindness and good.
The author has created an admirable life-long learner, wise and courageous grandmother in the character of Ruby, a lady with amazing will power and the gift of foresight and empathy. I am somewhat sorry she didn’t play her part longer in the book itself, although her influence reveals itself fully throughout the story. Little Emily is the image of Ruby in her early years, equally curious, persevering and focused. At times, I wished the author had let out more of the girl’s feelings out, but perhaps it is better this way, keeping a slight distance from her truly difficult life, not playing with the readers’emotions. I was quite shocked by the obnoxiously detached young parents of the little heroine Emily, who are both so sadly deprived of emotions, caring, kindness and even instincts that it is almost inconceivable. The author here touches upon the problem of teenage pregnancies, where clueless kids from disfunctional families, devoid of any maturity in mind and soul, become parents, purely biologically, and you wonder if they should have in the first place.
As Ruby struggles to prepare Emily for a parentless childhood, I was quite mesmerized with her positive approach in everything – she never teaches the child to fear, to distrust, to hide, but urges her to learn, advance, explore, seek help and support, without revealing her weakness. For a parent, it makes you think of the eternal issue of protecting children from harm, when harm lurks all around – do we expose them to it, or protect them till they grow bigger and stronger?
Relying on the kindness of strangers actually saves Emily, and her persistent optimism is eventually rewarded. Although at times the plot twists need a bit more convincing and showing, the author never gives up her idea of promoting kindness and personal improvement above all else, which I find truly admirable. The second part of the book with the plant/animal life research, as admirable and fascinating as it is, slightly draws attention from Emily’s story and could be a great stand-alone book. In fact, I do believe the author would be a fabulous non-fiction author of nature books, self-help books, and even advice on healthy living, both physically and mentally.
I look forward to reading more books by Margaret A. Loveday, and welcome her noble intention – to have faith in love and the good in us all, to promote doing good and having it repaid in good. It is a principle few stick to these days. There should be more miracles around!