Firstly, I was drawn to Strength of My Heart by Heather Murdoch by its subtitle, A Spiritual Fairy Tale. I have liked fairy tales ever since I watched a cartoon version of The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen on television when I was a schoolboy. After reading the essay on fairy stories in Tree and Leaf by J.R.R. Tolkien, I understood more clearly the importance of fairy stories and why they are not for children alone. Strength of My Heart, which is a good title, I think, could be called a modern fairy story, which wishes to reveal the dangers of being too bound to the world and material possessions and it also unveils a path to spiritual growth.
Written in confident, limpid, flowing prose, the book had an odd charm, which compelled me to read on. Its narrator is a young woman who begins her story not happy with herself, her family, her friends, her job, and is fearful that she might soon become redundant. Left alone in the snow one night, she leaves the ordinary human world behind and enters a world where live talking animals and humans together. Other than the fact that they can talk, there is nothing magical about Rabbit, Unicorn and Fox, the friends she makes in this world, but she does experience some magical moments.
As her heart is gradually thawed, warmed by love and friendship, during the course of her adventures, I found the book had the same affect on mine. So you could call it a heart warming tale, well told. It makes clear the dangers of materialism and reveals a path to redemption from it, through the simple pleasures of friendly company and love. Anyone who enjoys the world of the fairy tale will enjoy reading this book.