Annabelle of Anchony: Burdens of the Mind

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Category: Contemporary
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Date Published: May 8, 2012
Number of Pages: 368
Print Price: $20.99
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Annabelle of Anchony is the story of a young girl’s struggle to survive, to return to her family in Anchony. Anchony is the town she lived in with her family prior to being kidnapped by Demolites, an anti-religious group determined to overthrow the king and the people who follow with him the Catholic religion during the High Middle Ages. Annabelle was only 5 years old when she was kidnapped.

The author Ruth Apollonia brings the Catholic religion, its faith, its sacraments, prayers, angels and miracles to life in this story. Annabelle is on an island, hiding in a cave from the Demolites who had kidnapped her. She is afraid and cold. A voice whispers her name assuring her that he will protect her from the men outside. He covers her with furs to warm her and leads her deep into the cave. This is the beginning of a wonderful story of trust in God through all hardships, learning to understand that she will never be alone, that God is always with her. She need not be afraid.

The man’s name is Peter. He has been on the island for many years reconciling with God his agony over the loss of his family. He welcomes Annabelle with joy. Peter teaches her about God’s wonder and soon Annabelle’s every thought and action reflects her faith in God and her willingness to follow His will and trust in Him. Peter teaches Annabelle the tools of survival in all areas by using her God-given talents such as observation, instincts and survival skills Peter has taught her.

“’Run, Annabelle!’ Peter repeated. ‘Run! Forget me. I am in God’s hands. Run!’…. ‘God, why are you doing this?’ ‘Many journeys must be made in life.’ She remembered Peter’s words from that morning, a morning that seemed so distant. Then she remembered her own prayer: ‘I offer you all my trials, weaknesses, triumphs, and joys as well as my thoughts, words and actions for Your greater glory, for all the holy souls in purgatory, and for my eternal salvation.’ ‘All right, Lord, I will accept this challenge. Think. Think. How did all these men get here? .--- Boats! They must have boats.

Annabelle, running and scared, remembers her prayer and belief that God’s will is wiser than her will and she is determined to obey His will in all things. Annabelle’s faith is strong throughout the story. She trusts God in all things and believes in goodness and His love. Peter has taught her well. The story follows Annabelle in her escape from the Demolites on the island to the mainland, where she is on her own and not trusting any man, as Peter’s teachings warn.

“She turned her head quickly and saw him looking at her. He hastily walked away. She found a burst of strength and ran to the door and slammed it shut. Crying into the dress, she melted into the floor. ‘Father, help me!’ ‘Do you think I have abandoned you?’ She was struck by the words. ‘No. You have not abandoned me. You never would.’ ‘Then be strong. Have faith. You are all right.’

“‘Has he proven his trustworthiness? Peter, would you want me to trust him? Father, what should I do?’ She could tell he was distressed. Her body urged her to offer him some kind of comfort. She closed her eyes and stepped inside. She slowly placed the leaf full of berries upon the table and pushed it toward him, quickly stepping back.”

The Catholic faith runs through every aspect of the book. There are angels to guide her and strengthen her and they are presented in a natural setting, enhancing the story rather than exaggerating the actions, and there is the presence of God all throughout the story.

“They all watched as the bishop placed the first-class relic below her bandaged eye and the third-class relic upon her shoulder. He stepped back and addressed the royal family. ‘Let us pray.’”

I have not previously read a book of fiction that was so full of the Catholic faith throughout. It is light reading, yet holds so much inspiration and spirit that I felt captivated. My imagination pictured each cliff, waterfall, and town as though I was there with Annabelle.

The theme of the story portrays life in the Middle Ages, and a people fighting for and holding on to their religion at all costs. It is a book to treasure.

Publisher:
ISBN-13: 978-1613468005
Original Language: English
Book Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches


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Wanda J. (“Jody”) Rakis was born in Texas, and moved to Michigan with Ling-Temco-Vought Missile Corporation in the early 60’s. She was an executive secretary with the company with top secret clearance. Not too long after arriving in Michigan she met a tall, Greek, handsome salesman and they were married a year later. She was a stay-at-home mother for seven years. Jody returned to the work force after fire destroyed their new investment business. Because their three children being very young, and they lived in a log cabin on a cold, northern Michigan lake, Jody took a job with the school system, as secretary for the Superintendent and Board of Education. She later switched to elementary school secretary so that she could be with her children in the summers. During these years, Jody became more active in her parish and began teaching CCD classes at night. She has been fortunate to have many, wonderful, exciting, sometimes demanding, positions in her career. From school secretary, she managed a new travel agency that opened in her town. Another challenge, another great experience. From there Jody scrimped and saved and was eventually able to open her own business, a secretarial and office rental business with a conference room and three offices, located in the newest building of her small town. The business was very successful and expanded twice in two years, to eight offices and a waiting list of tenants. After herr children graduated from high school, Jody and her husband sold their respective businesses and moved to sunny Florida. One of their sons had also moved there with school friends, and their daughter came with them. Their oldest son was married and starting a family. During those years, Jody attended Barry University and completed required courses for her Paralegal Certificate. In Naples, Jody again became active in our parish, teaching CCD and also becoming sponsor for RCIA candidates. After ten years, the Rakis’ son and daughter moved back north and Jody and her husband missed being close to them and their new families. They moved to Cincinnati, where their daughter lives. Upon arrival, Jody’s husband worked for an appraisal company and Jody found employment with The Kroger Co. as legal secretary to the lead labor attorney for the company. She retired from Kroger in 2005. The Rakis’ parish is St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in Delhi, suburb of Cincinnati. Jody am involved with the Christ Renews His Parish movement, prayer groups, and serves as a minister for the Divorce Support Group. Keeping active and staying mentally busy is one of God’s blessings for Jody. Because of some medical problems, she does spend down time, resting and rejuvenating her strength. By reading and reviewing, Jody hopes to continue to rejuvenate her mind as well.

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