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Nancy's Notes - February 21, 2013

“Iscariot” by Tosca Lee, “The Power of Half” by the Salwen family, “Romeo and Juliet” by Jeanne Ray

Lent began last Wednesday so if you are interested in reading something related to the Easter season, “Iscariot”, by Tosca Lee may be of interest. Based on extensive research into the life and times of Judas Iscariot, this is a work of historical fiction. Iscariot is the story of Judas, from his childhood to his emergence as the man known to the world as the betrayer of Jesus. In Jesus, Judas believes he has found the One—the promised Messiah and future king of the Jews, destined to overthrow Roman rule. He joins the Nazarene’s followers, but soon Judas’s vision of a nation free from Rome is crushed by the actions of the Nazarene who will not bow to social or religious convention. At last, Judas must confront the fact that the master he loves is not the liberator he hoped for, but a man bent on a drastically different agenda.
One of the local books clubs is reading “The Power of Half”.  After getting positive feedback we ordered a copy for the library. It all started when fourteen-year old Hannah Salwen saw a homeless man in her neighborhood at the same time she saw a Mercedes coupe pulled up. She told her father “You know, Dad, if that man had a less nice car, that man there could have a meal.”  Until that day, the Salwens had been caught up in the classic American dream accumulating more and more stuff.  So when Hannah became concerned about this disparity, her parents knew they had to act on her urge to do something. As a family, they made the decision to sell their Atlanta mansion, downsize to a house half its size, and give half of the sale price to a worthy charity. In the end they learned that they had the power to change a little corner of the world, and they found themselves changing too.
For those of you who would like something lighter than the two books listed above, you might enjoy “Romeo and Juliet” by Jeanne Ray. Romeo Cacciamani and Julie Roseman are rival florists whose families have hated each other for as long as anyone can remember. However, no one knows why. When the two meet at a small-business owners' seminar, an attraction blooms between them. The couple is not about to let a silly feud stand in their way until his eighty year old mother and Julie’s ex-husband begin to intervene.
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