So last year I read a great book I never told you about. I’ve been a fan of Gerald Lund since his Work and the Glory days, so I bought The Guardian sight unseen. Boy was I in for a surprise! It was unlike anything else I had ever read of his… but I still liked it and was pleased (though a little surprised) when a sequel came out.
The Guardian: To Run With the Swift is the continuing story of Carruthers McAllister (Danni) and her family. The fallout from their previous adventure is starting to come to light and the family realizes that they can’t run from the limelight much longer… especially considering it seems like the people who kidnapped Danni and her family aren’t done with them yet. But a conspiracy involving international terrorists can’t stay hushed up for very long, and Danni and gets caught up in the razzle-dazzle of their 15 minutes of fame and ends up stepping on a few toes along the way. Le Gardien and its mysterious powers are thrust front and center again as the family fights their way to freedom in Europe and discovers the true reason they are being hunted… and it has nothing to do with money. Within the complexity of the story itself we learn even more about World War II and the context in which Hitler took power, the power of true love and friendship, and that sometimes evil can be very well disguised.
I really enjoyed this book. Like I mentioned before, the Guardian is nothing like his previous works. First of all, it is written from the point of view of a 16 year old girl. It took me a while to get used to the verbiage used (do kids these days really talk like that?) but once I did, the modern grammar was no longer distracting (I can’t imagine what it would have been like for him to write like that!) Also, the family involved, though living in southern Utah and a church-going family, aren’t necessarily LDS (though I assumed they were). I didn’t notice any overtly LDS themes that would in any way alienate people of other faiths. There is also the matter of the Le Gardien; the magical purse that Danni is given for her 13th birthday. I did think it was a little strange at first, but after a while I think I started to understand its purpose in the book. Le Gardien is, more than anything else, a symbol. A reoccurring theme in these books is the fact that power, real power, comes from within ourselves and not from the outside. Danni, not the pouch, was powerful, and the pouch served as nothing more than a tangible way for her to concentrate and harness the power she already had. I found the power that the pouch gave her was very similar to the gift of the Holy Ghost. We need to listen to our feelings, turn inward, and let our hearts and minds work in harmony with each other. It’s also a good reminder that our ways are not God’s ways, and He sees the big picture and knows what we need more than we do.