The Great Thirst One: Prepared: an Archaeological Mystery
Small town science teacher Keith Bradley climbs into a red Tesla with English teacher Talia Ramin for the field trip of a lifetime. At stake is a missing copy of the Scriptures on gold tablets. At risk is the trust of an ancient order sworn to keep the tablets safe.
Talia's archaeologist aunt and uncle may have lost their last clue to artifact thieves. A government ultimatum might undo every lesson they have taught their students about keeping the Word safe.
from Chapter Eighteen – “Are You So Selfish?”
“What?” Keith jumped up. “What are you saying? We’re supposed to take the kids’ Bibles away from them? Their prayer journals? Their memory cards?”
“There’s no need to be defensive.” Doctor Williams glared up at him. “Please be seated. You will only be borrowing them, to get them scanned. And we want materials from everyone in the community. Parents, grandparents, ministers – Anyone who studies the Bible. Don’t you see? This will become a resource people all over the world can use, for all time. Mr. Bradley, your prayers, your thoughts, your study of the Bible could teach someone in Thailand, Mali, Alaska – someone in a spaceship travelling to Mars – these insights will become eternal.”
“But it’s voluntary, right?” Talia asked. “People don’t have to give us their Bibles, do they?”
“This program fails if it doesn't accomplish the critical goal of gathering all the possible data,” Doctor Williams insisted.
“What exactly do you mean by ‘this program fails’?” Keith’s dad demanded.
“It doesn't fulfill the requirements,” Doctor Williams said. “It doesn't qualify for the grants.”
“You mean we lose everything we've gotten from implementing the Bible as Literature program?” Principal Bradley choked.
“Really, there’s nothing scary or unreasonable being asked for here. Are your Bible studies secret? Why does the idea of sharing them with the world disturb you? Are you that selfish?”
The Guru's Review:
This will be the second novel I have read of Findley's, the first being A Dodge, A Twist, And A Tobacconist
but under the pen name of Sophonia Belle Lyon. This new novel was supposed to one full-length work, but Findley decided to break it up into three novellas. This move has one very nice effect and that is to whet your appetite more than enough for the next instalment.
I really enjoyed this novella. What attracted me was the subject matter, a missing copy of the Scriptures on gold tablets and the quest by those in the know to find and protect it. This sparks off in me mystery, suspense, intrigue, good versus evil, spiritual warfare and a motive to show the importance of the Gospel and what it means for all mankind. So I am excited about this series.
Findley successfully hides in plain sight the main character, Talia Ramin, as the new English Literature teacher. Findley also has Talia teach a subject as Bible as literature as a sub-plot and this provides much spiritual aspects in this novel, as Talia explains,
.....we will not just be explaining how ancient literature compares to the Bible. We are going to learn how to be discerning about ancient writings-how to tell the truth from error in what's being taught by historians, archaeologists. This course will prepare you to know truth when you see it.
Findley then provides more sub-plots with romance between Talia and Keith, Talia having a unique connection with Keith's disabled sister. Then there is the hints to Talia's past, Talia talking out loud while she is alone about protecting her identity and her true purpose, a Sprinter van that is trying to scare and intimidate her. Reason unexplained, but adds to the mystery and intrigue about her past and the link between this and the search for the missing Scripture scrolls.
This is one easy read and very entertaining. It is structured for young adults and I can see them enjoying this, including the young adult that still resides in me!
Knowing some of Findley's background for teaching and evangelising the message of the Gospel, I can see her including some wonderful teaching moments while still making it very entertaining without being preachy. Youth love being taught when it is fun so she has a wonderful platform here for this.
I feel this is one very promising series and I am very much looking forward to the complete package.