Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Truly, Madly Viking

I was in the library and this book caught my eye. Of course, the nice-looking chest was the first thing but really it was his scowl/mean look that did it for me. What were the publishers thinking? He looks like some evil yet inept character from a comedy. Combine that with the title and the fact that the book is dedicated to a good friend who died before the book was completed and I am carrying it home.

The whole plot is beyond far-fetched so just listen for a moment. This Viking warrior named Jorund is out on the North Seas hunting for his lost older brother. Jorund is full of guilt over the death of his wife and twin daughters. While Jorund was fighting around the world, they died because of a severe famine. Jorund cared nothing for his wife (she tricked him into marriage) but he is at a complete loss over his four year old daughters. The boat searching for his brother has been followed by a killer whale for several days. Jorund discovers that he can communicate – yes, speak with – this whale in his head. At one point she causes the anchor to get caught and when Jorund dives over the side, she grabs him and carries him off... from the year 999 to the year 2009.

Got that?

Then enters the female love interest: Maggie who happens to have twin daughters who have been wishing on the stars for a father. As one of the girls loves killer whales, they are at the oceanarium in Galveston, Texas when who should appear... but a naked man with a sword riding a killer whale. Of course, the police arrive and try to arrest him but Maggie, with great promptings from her daughters, offers to take him the psychiatric hospital where she is a new psychiatrist.

So, the perfectly sane man from the past is now in a hospital for the mentally challenged and feeling more and more attracted to this Dock-whore (ha ha) named Mag-he. Good thing Jorund has always had an affinity for languages as well as two arm bands worth a fortune. You can see where this is going, can't you?

I have to say this is an extremely fun and very funny read. In fact, I have been debating whether or not to read more of Hill's writings. But they may become rather dull as ten out of the nineteen she has published so far contain the word “Viking” in the title.

What in the world has this book to do with my faith? Believe it or not, there are several dialogues as well as plot devices about God in this book. The big question remains: does God still do miracles? 

If God still does miracles, how big does the miracle have to be in order to be recognized as such? What do you have to wish for/ask for in order for God to answer with a huge miracle? And, what are the appropriate instruments for one of God's miracles?

In this book, the big miracle is Jorund who becomes like a father for these two girls and an uncontrollable love interest for the woman who always has to be in control. All three females need him for different reasons. All three have also asked – and I think they really did ask God – for a man in their lives. Maggie at one point realizes what a big miracle Jorund is for them and not just because he was sent a thousand years into the future. It takes her awhile, however, to come to this understanding. But a killer whale? Seriously?

I firmly believe God still does miracles. But I think God's instruments are often things we take for granted such as technology and medical knowledge. Just because God isn't sending people into the future does not mean God is not still in the miracle business.

I recommend this book.

Happy reading!



  1. Ooh, I have to comment. The book sounds really interesting, but your point about miracles reminded me of one I witnessed that I don't think I ever told you about. When I was a pediatric cardiology fellow, a baby came back from the operating room not doing well and they actually had to re-open the baby's chest to do cardiac massage in the PICU. (The heart had stopped beating completely so the surgeon was squeezing it with his hand.) The surgeon did this for a while but realized it was futile and "called the code," which means you stop everything. The surgeon turned around and walked away. Everybody was crying and just stunned that the baby didn't make it. I was still standing next to the bed staring at that little heart, and all of a sudden it starts beating on its own. You should've heard the cheer that went up - it was the most amazing thing I've ever seen - totally a miracle.