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May 23, 2012 / Ronald Chapman

Simultaneous Horror and Beauty

Today a reader told me she was more than half way through A Killer’s Grace and wondering if in the end it was really a great love story.

What an extraordinary awareness. Here is the story of a serial killer, murder, incest, alcoholism and devastation, and the reader was mostly aware of the romance between Pitcairn and Emmy. I’m smiling right now.

While this book is a redemption tale, and a recovery story, it is indeed a romance as well. Simultaneously great horror co-exists with great beauty.

I remember the opening scene of the extraordinary movie Slumdog MIllionaire. The boy, Jamal, has been locked into an outhouse as the movie star who is his hero arrives in town. His only solution is to jump into the pit of human waste, holding a photo of his hero over his head to protect it from the pit. The culmination is when Jamal, covered in excrement, gets the movie star’s autograph … on that photograph. He is absolutely delighted. That scene is a nearly perfect portrait of the opposite aspects of life.

The truth is that somehow it is all glorious … both the horror and the beauty. The secret is in seeing it.


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