Saturday, June 13, 2009

What Does This Title Mean?

In a recent review of Shades of Darkness, Shade of Grace, a reviewer noted she never figured out what the title referred to. It actually references two things, which most anyone can relate to.

First, it makes reference to the internal struggles we all face, recognizing there are shades of darkness (sin) and shades of grace (goodness) within each of us. In other words, we experience degrees of grace as well as degrees of sin. What we do with that sin and grace is up to us. As Kay notes towards the end of the book, “Goodness and evil each present us with choices, and they are never as simple as they might appear”. In those choices we make through our own free will, some will contain the darkness of moral ambiguity and sin, while others move us closer to the beauty and goodness of grace.

Second, the Shades of Grace in the title is a reference to the saving grace of sobriety that both Kay and Paul experience and any addict can relate to. It is after all, sobriety that saves us from destroying ourselves and those closest to us. Again, there is the idea of the degrees of goodness the clean and sober existence in reclaiming our lives and making amends with those we have harmed.

In a nutshell, that’s what Shades of Grace, Shades of Darkness means, at least to me. There is no right or wrong answer, and because meanings are subjective, I invite readers of the novel who have different interpretation to e-mail me with their thoughts at:

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