The beginning of Almost Awakened introduces a mystery: did the Bible – found fused to a molten girder in the rubble of the Twin Towers – belong to Donna, an ex-minister who disappeared that day?
This Bible, pictured at right, is on display at the September 11th Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center, and was shown to Pope Francis during his September 2015 visit.
What was Donna, a fictional character, doing at the World Trade Center just one day after being defrocked as a minister for choosing the Golden Rule over church rules? How was Donna influenced by the hateful rants that Malik had been sending from Al Qaeda?
The answers to these and other questions are revealed in the final chapters of Almost Awakened.
Religion is a dangerous medicine: Too little can harm. Too much can kill. This theme is explored throughout the novel, as the characters explore Eastern and Western faiths in an effort to live a life of love. They wonder if “religion kills” when the common wisdom of the Golden Rule is ignored; and extremism is used to justify wars, Inquisitions, terrorism and prejudice against others whose gender, race, religion or sexual orientation is different than yours.
As importantly, Almost Awakened explores how we forgive ourselves, others and God... and what it would mean to “turn the other cheek” to a terrorist ? …or even if it’s a good idea to consider that?