Sunday, March 14, 2010

Review of the Serpent and the Stag

I just finished reading Julie Ann Maahs’ novel “The Serpent and the Stag.” You should read it. You really should. I think it has something for each of us. In a way, it kind of reminds me of the movie “The Wizard of Oz”, where the scenes on the Kansas farm are in stark black and white, while the scenes in Oz are in full Technicolor. Sarah Marie starts out in the drab black and white world of fundamentalist Christianity, where they themselves are the only white pure ones, while anyone who disagree with them are creatures of darkness, and evil. She is plunged into a weird wide colorful world, when she goes looking for her father, and ends up at his commune, an idyllic, colorful place, which Sarah nonetheless sees as Satan’s playground. Were this book to be made into a movie, and I the art and lighting director, I would have all the scenes before Sarah runs away shot on black and white stock. Then when she meets Sam, it’s in color, but in very dark hues, all of it shot either at night, or in day-for-night. When she finally gets to the commune, everything would be in brilliant sun-washed color. Maybe I’d have the colors a little muted to symbolize Sarah’s point of view that all these people are devil-worshippers, and so, lost to her god.

It is a murder mystery, but Sarah is not a prime character in the mystery, a potential victim perhaps. Some Christians may object that the villain spouts all this righteous-sounding language, but speaking as a Pagan, I like it. I’m sure we’ve all heard far too many villains spout holy sounding language.

If I were a movie producer looking for a story to shoot, I would pick this one. It teaches all of us that we have something to learn about others, and that different does not mean bad.

You can find it at:
Go read it. It’s a trip and a half.

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