Aeliana has long been accompanied by her feline friend, Purple Gleaming in Shadow, and now her husband Chariton has been adopted by the magnificent male cat Nightfire, who quickly becomes Purple’s mate as well. All four are, or become, devoted followers of Yeshua of Nazareth, known to the cats as ben Adamah, Son of Earth. Together, they travel home to Chariton’s family to solemnize the marriage of the two humans – but find there that Chariton’s mother is cold, unkind, and hostile to Aeliana. Loss, tragedy, and conflict threaten to tear the humans away from their faith, hope, and love- can the cats, with Yeshua’s guidance and help, assist them to reweave the tapestry of their lives?
YESHUA’S LOOM is another of the series that began with YESHUA’S CAT, and it specifically continues the tale of Purple Gleaming in Shadow, which began in CAT BORN TO THE PURPLE. It would be wise to read the previous books in the series before tackling this one, because this is clearly a continued storyline rather than an independent tale, with plenty of references to events in earlier books. This is no hardship, though, as Francisco’s books are uniformly well-written, with a lovely poetic style and a gentle spirituality that enlivens and inspires even if the reader does not share the writer’s Christian perspective. Her cats are distinctly cats, with thoroughly feline perspectives, even if they are (to their own confusion) newly endowed with something so human as a soul.
Their point of view gives the reader a bit of distance and a new perspective on typically human behaviors and emotions. This particular book is actually more of a chain of connected stories and events, more of a biography than a single plot line, taking place over multiple cities in the early-Christian-era Roman Empire. Yet each location, each emotion, each happening is described with a vivid sensuality and an emotional richness that puts the reader directly into the action. It does, however, stretch the limits of belief a bit to have Aeliana take on another name change and another persona from the New Testament – one begins to wonder whether there were actually only about twenty early Christians after all, at least until Paul enters the story again.
YESHUA’S LOOM is a worthy sequel to CAT BORN TO THE PURPLE, and will be enjoyed by those readers who find comfort in a theology that is generous, humane, and intelligent, with plenty of room for cats.
~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader