Tiggy Tiggy Touch Wood by Madelyn Grape Rohrer
This collection of ten short stories and folktales features scenes and characters that meld Celtic mythology, Christian spirituality, and Irish history to create truly contemplative and animated fiction. In the title story, a young brother and sister breathe new life into their town by spreading the game of Tiggy Tiggy Touch Wood (upon which football, tag, and hide-and-seek are based). In ‘Bess and Roy,’ two newlyweds are separated from each other in the wake of the Japanese bombings at Pearl Harbor – but serendipity brings them back together. The story ‘Ah, Chocolate!” offers a humorous look at the many wonders and miracles heaven holds in store for us, which thankfully includes chocolate! In ‘A Different World,’ a young father finds his prayers for a miraculous display of God’s glory have been answered, though now he wishes they hadn’t. A POW of WWII is able to escape captivity thanks to a Monopoly set that holds the key to his freedom in ‘A Well-Kept Secret.’
Jumping between the past and present-day, these stories bridge both time and culture, producing a well-balanced blend of entirely fictional tales and stories that are based on true historical facts and the lives of Rohrer’s close friends. Likewise, the inclusion of both traditional-style folktales and modern short fiction keeps this collection exciting and innovative through to the end. Heavily influenced by Christianity, many of the stories feature a strong religious element and positive messages that will undoubtedly be a source of comfort to troubled or saddened readers. Rohrer’s stories signify a departure from contemporary narration and a return to the classic storytelling methods of past generations, the result of which is an astonishing anthology that resonates with a life force of its own.
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