REVIEW: ‘Rook Makes a Move’

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What do you do when your best laid plans go awry? What about when tragedy strikes? And what does God have to do with it?

These are the weighty questions author Cynthia Hilliard shoulders in her book “Rook Makes a Move.” 

Many readers will relate to the protagonist, Rook, who decides to retire and move with her husband to be closer to their only grandchild. Her name is a reference to the game of chess and Rook tries to plan her next moves like an expert player. She is the master of the To-Do list, a woman who tries to stay several steps ahead of the game …

But then her chessboard is knocked over! Her life is turned upside down by tragedy. Again, readers can relate.

But we read fiction, I think, not because it merely mimics life, but can inspire it.

As Rook grapples with the crisis event in her life, she makes pilgrimages and seeks the advice of family members and spiritual counselors. Her journey is full of twists and turns, unexpected encounters, trials and also gifts. Eventually, she discovers that there is only one To-Do that matters: “to give thanks for each God-given moment of grace.”

Along the way to this spiritual revelation, Rook is counseled by a minister. He listened patiently as she shared her troubles, including her questions about suffering. This pastor admitted that he did not have all the answers; the Lord’s ways are mysterious. Then, he gave Rook a couple of books on relevant topics!

Again, fiction imitates life. I heartily recommend this beautifully written story to anyone who is wrestling with life’s crucial questions. You will find a wise guide in Cynthia Hilliard.

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