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The Calling of the Raven (The Megan Jones trilogy Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Megan's world becomes a nightmarish prison in which she can't escape her past, yet can't live in the present because it is made so painful and unbearable. I was really in awe of the way the author wrote from the point of view of many of the characters and I was truly convinced that they were real people who felt the way they did. Megan's hardship became so real to me that I felt I was living it myself, and about ¾ of the way through the book I was shattered and had to take a break for about a week – reminding myself “it's only a story” so that I could calm down. It sure didn't feel like fiction when I was experiencing every bit of it!
It's a rare and beautiful thing to see this much raw, natural talent in an author. She has a poetic way of describing the character's emotions and the Welsh countryside that makes the story vivid, colorful and alive with energy. In The Calling of the Raven, Jenny Lloyd teaches us that we should be conscious of the way we treat others and strive to use understanding, forgiveness and compassion in our relationships with the people we love.
Eli has not the inclination, or indeed intention, to forgive Megan for what he considers her betrayal and sets out to control and inflict upon her as much mental and emotional abuse as possible. The lengths Eli, aided and abetted by Branwen, go to result in Megan doubting her own sanity and eventually place her in a very dangerous situation.
'Men it is who own the chains that bind us; men it is who dictate the rules we must abide by.While we are married to them, they are our only shelter and our sustenance; we cannot survive without their will for they own all there is, even our own selves. Megan does not realise this yet, I fear; that she is as much her husband’s possession as the stolen money in her purse and the dog that lies at her feet. He can do as he pleases with the both of them for they belong to him.’
That chilling passage encompasses the subjugation women have, and sometimes still do suffer. And not only from their husbands as becomes abundantly clear. The message is enduring and powerful, woven into the story so well.
The narrative comes alive with Jenny Lloyd’s wonderful way with words and the total sense of place and time is evident throughout the book. Beautiful and descriptive passages of the Welsh countryside. The story unfolds from the perspective of Megan and the other main protagonists, all in the first person, and each with a distinct voice. In this way the feelings, fears and hopes are laid bare. Morgan, wanting to do what’s right but always seeming to get it wrong. Beulah, waiting for Morgan to see her as more than the housekeeper. Myfanwy, who was Megan’s friend but can Megan rely on her in desperate times. And Dafydd, caring, watchful and sympathetic to Megan. All wonderful characters with their own troubles and worries.
The Wild Water awaits if all else fails, but Megan is made of sterner stuff despite the humiliation, hardship and vindictiveness she suffers. This story is full of emotion and passion, and I couldn’t help but be infuriated and horrified by the injustices towards women, which continue in one form or another, to this day.
The Calling of the Raven is moving, thought provoking and excellently written, vivid and well researched. It brings vividly to life a 19th century rural community with all the intrinsic behaviour and culture of the time.
But Eli is not just saddened by the news, he is filled with rage and is determined to make Megan suffer for her actions. His own weakness leads him to exercise control and cruelty upon his possession, his wife Megan. She begins to doubt her own sanity as her brother Morgan and her best friend Beulah turn against her, while Eli openly cavorts with dairy maid, Branwen.
Although there is tragedy and fear in the storyline there is also hope and spirit in Megan’s goodness and determination. Her daughter Fortune is a spark of promise with her loving, lively nature. Megan and her brother Morgan are supported by the love and understanding of their good friend Dafydd and they let their own humanity guides their lives.
This is a book about the intense struggle for freedom and equality made by so many women in the 19th century and still existing today. Megan and Bronwen speak for those who were abused or trapped in loveless marriages but other women in the story, embittered by experience, support the men in their use of possession and condemnation.
Despite the serious nature of this dramatic tale, reading it is effortless. You are carried along by the natural voice of Megan and, at times, other characters, so that you are truly involved in their lives. I cannot recommend this book too highly.
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