Verdict: William E. Jefferson creates a masterful look at technology’s influence on humanity in this modern-day allegorical adventure in which the narrator, Narrative, relates his unusual visions in his quest to write a new telling of the story of redemption.
DIVINE CHOREOGRAPHY OF REDEMPTION: Setting the Eternal Saga in Time, concerns not only the dance of redemption, but the dance between the modern phenomenon of the internet’s hold over humanity and the ever-loosening hold of the scripture’s “eternal saga.” Written as allegory, the story begins in the present, on the “equally far from everywhere” Estillyen Isle. Narrative, a member of the storytelling Order of Message Makers (est 1637), struggles with writer’s block. Finding himself in a surreal duality, he watches a vision of himself navigate two worlds. The first is devoted to technology’s power to advance humanity; the second takes Narrative to 1637 where he views a performance by the original members of Order of Message Makers.
Storyteller, Narrative, is struggling with writer’s block when a quote from Macbeth enters his mind, “Who is it that can tell me who I am?” As all allegories, DIVINE CHOREOGRAPHY OF REDEMPTION is a symbolic search for meaning which the reader unlocks like a puzzle. It doesn’t disappoint. Those who enjoy allegory will appreciate its nuances. Written by Theologian, William E. Jefferson, it is filled with Biblical references, but there’s plenty here to grab the imagination of the secular reader. Especially of interest is Narrative’s encounter with the three attractions of his first vision. As he goes from stage to stage, the reader is brought into a reality all too familiar. Filled with moments of wicked wit and well-placed quotes from Shakespeare to Marshall McLuhan, one will find both a sense of recognition and uneasiness. As Narrative searches for a fresh way to tell of redemption, he is disturbed by what he hears in his first vision. Yet, he continues his quest. Can Narrative find answers for modern man in the past? Can the eternal saga evolve without losing its essence? How does information confined to a book compete with today’s world of infinite information? Who, indeed, can tell us who we are – and how?
The brilliance of this novel is Jefferson’s ability as a storyteller. Though deep, there are plenty of fun and humorous scenes that keep the plot moving. The author’s talent keeps this novel’s strength of story from getting lost in its symbolism. Yet, many sections are compelling and worth second or third readings, not because they’re difficult, but because they’re profound. Intriguing and thought-provoking, this modern allegory is a must-read.
~Kat Kennedy for IndieReader