Patricia Adams Farmer delicately engages the reader in the deepest questions of society, family and the individual life. Interweaving the characters of her novel in all three of these arenas, she invites the reader not only into the characters’ lives, but also into reflection of one’s own life and times. While one could get absorbed into the story for the enjoyment of a well told story – which it is – the authentic inquiries of the characters invite one into important questions and richer meanings of doubt and faith.
One of her characters quotes Rollo May with the observation – “You see, Rollo May says that the normal adult escapes anxiety through the comfort of conformity, but the authentic, creative adult approaches the anxiety of life with courage. That is how I see your Greeter. Authentic. Creative. Courageous, even” (p. 132).
That is how I see Patricia Adams Farmer and her writing in The Metaphor Maker – Authentic. Creative. Courageous, even. I am grateful to her for this work of authenticity, creativity, and courage.–Rev. Kim Gage Ryan
Praise and puffery can be produced with ease by a reviewer. Admiration for the elegant literary style and most certainly praise for tackling a pivotal time in America are owed to Patricia Adams Farmer. But something else happened to me while reading THE METAPHOR MAKER–a re-awakening of emotions I thought were deeply buried. Let me explain.
Madeline Prescott struggled during the ’60s, a time while I was a physician in the Central Intelligence Agency stationed in Athens, Greece. The horrors faced by Madeline–the assassinations, an immoral war in Viet Nam and the warping of democracy in our country–were doubly magnified for me simply because I did not have the support that Madeline had during this upheaval–no discussion groups or politically sympathetic friends.
THE METAPHOR MAKER re-awakened in me the deep despair of those times. Had Patricia Adams Farmer’s book been with me then, the climb out of the abyss would have been easier. Madeline’s strength and persistence in seeking answers to what seemed unanswerable problems is more than an inspiration to those of us who can’t seem to relax and let the world go by. Her book is the perfect metaphor: a prism which gives us a spectrum of hope.
Physician in the Central Intelligence Agency, 1965-1970
This book satisfied my craving for both leisure and inspirational reading; I laughed, cried, cringed and contemplated about the meaning of life. But most importantly, this book painted a vivid picture of hope and it’s intimate relationship with humanity. With the plot set in the 1960’s, Patricia Adams Farmer artistically brought history to life and allowed me to deeply empathize with and befriend the characters. I absolutely adored them and I am delighted that she gave each role enough “book time exposure” to bond with the readers. One thing I am quite fond of was how the positive traits were evenly distributed among the major characters. In other words, there was no “superhuman” that possessed all the wisdom you needed. All the characters seemed to have experienced perennial ups and downs in life throughout the book, a journey that a reader might deem relatable.
This book contains numerous lessons that I found personally enriching. There is nothing too preachy, just practical guidance and metaphors that have the capacity to uplift the spirit and provoke positive change. I cannot recall how many times I had to pause from reading and simply digest the beautiful words. This story showed me how freely we could learn from each other as well as how much wisdom we can impart. My favorite part in this novel was when the characters sporadically gathered in the bookshop. There is a clear sense of belongingness that permeates their environment. Even though the characters came from different backgrounds, they respected each other and welcomed the possibility of gaining new insights about life from a different perspective. In this book, Patricia Adams Farmer described that our spiritual, religious or philosophical views does not necessarily have to match other people’s point by point in order to have a peaceful and vibrant fellowship. The only criteria needed were passion for social justice and hope in the goodness of humanity. This is a concept that I truly wish the larger society would come to embody.
I read other reviews about The Metaphor Maker and I agree that the story caters to a wide range of audience. From Madeleine’s fresh-off-from-college character to the ever-jovial Mr. Larsen, one can either identify closely with a specific character or pick bits and pieces from everyone’s colorful life. This novel is reader-friendly and is ideal for someone who is interested in learning more about progressive theology. It is a perfect book for an explorer like me.–CL
From the first chapter, the main character drew me in. Madeline Prescott was like a new friend I wanted to know more and more about. I was touched by her tenderness, and impressed with her tenacity. She isn’t flawless. On the contrary, she’s fully human, making her even more compelling. I felt privileged to be a part of Madeline’s spiritual journey. As her search evolved, I was challenged to consider my own spiritual perspectives.This is the perfect book for a study group or book club! Its multiple facets provide many opportunities for open conversation as well as self-reflection and revelation. — Cindy MeyerClick Here to read more Amazon Reviews!