Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Can We Overcome Our Passions? Guest Justina Prima and The Pawnbroker's Ring

A ring washes onto Salem’s shore in the year 1830, a bottle is its boat, a note its blanket and the address has long since faded. THE PAWNBROKER’S RING follows its journey in Salem.

Zachariah prays most earnestly for the people of Salem. He acts different, looks different, he is different, and he’s found the ring. Loving God above all, the money he receives from pawning it will support anonymous aid to others. He is also in the employment of Adela Seward and more than aware of upper class prejudice for this successful single mother. Mrs. Blackburn, who believes it’s her duty to purge those not deserving of high society has made Adela her cause and will oust her at all cost. Discouraged and angry, Adela falls into the dregs of those who scorn her. Further, she shuns the attentions of the pawnbroker Eldon Canfield, who could provide respectability with marriage.

As he watches the ring touch many lives, Zachariah has been keeping a secret: someone has stolen the ring…and he knows who it is.

I wanted to write about how God changes lives, helps us to overcome our failings when we reach out to Him. In order to accomplish that, the key is what takes us away from Him.

If we turn off all the sounds around us, we can hear when God speaks. The entertainment that fills empty spaces within us for a brief moment would be filled for eternity with the love of God. We wouldn’t need anything else.

Back in 1830, there were no TVs, radios, smart phones—all the distractions that take us further from God. But just because they didn’t have all the present-day diversions doesn’t mean that God’s voice was any clearer. It may have been easier to remain close to God, but didn’t automatically take away their failings.

People throughout time have experienced age-old passions, those that block our ‘vision’ of Heaven. The Pawnbroker’s Ring deals with jealousy and envy, two self-destroying evils that plague many. Mrs. Blackburn embodies both, jealousy of Adela Seward’s love for her long lost husband and envy of the things she has attained by the Ships Chandler, a business she nurtured for the last eighteen years. But what the eyes see and the ears hear are not always truth. Is Adela to be envied? She had raised her son alone, waiting for her husband to return from the War of 1812. This story unfolds the difficulty of overcoming a passion, and success with God’s help.

Justina Prima lives with her husband in Colorado, a full-time hospice nurse and writes as much as possible the rest of the hours of the week. She has a son and daughter in Chicago and three young grandchildren. This is her first published novel, now working on the second.