Author: J. Ronald M. York

Publisher: St. Broadway
ISBN-10: 0998273406; ISBN-13: 978-0998273402

Most of us have emotional baggage of some sort, of which we tend to be only too aware. However, most of us do not carry around a box of letters and news clippings with us from house to house as we move about the countryside with no knowledge of its contents until, one day, we realize that the time is right to investigate what exactly has been there, before our very eyes, for decades. However, such is the case with J. Ronald M. York, who reveals the intimate details of the Pandora’s box that he opens one fine morning, in an engrossing memoir entitled “Kept in the Dark.” What he exposes is both heart-warming and heartrending, only the more so because the correspondence involved is between the author’s own parents, now long-dead, who were clearly deeply in love, but who were yet enmeshed in such personal intrigue, with disaster looming on the horizon, that they were forcibly kept apart, first by prison walls, and then by geographical distance.

What shines out from this work, in which the passages veer between the expression of great desire and longing and the relatively cold-hearted narration of the harsh and stark situation of circumstance, is the fact that the love of God and of another person can make a resounding difference in the life of any sensitive and caring individual. That such love can also prevail, and even hallmark, relationships occurring within what is usually conceived of as a stark form of religiosity and religious upbringing is all the more remarkable. The intensity of the passion felt by York’s parents for each other rings out from these pages as clear as does any clarion call of church bells summoning the faithful to worship at the feet of a supreme and loving God, who is both just and eternally loving of his chosen ones. The crux of the matter is that, where there is a just God, justice will, and does, prevail. “Kept in the Dark” resonates with the intense awareness of such a spiritual reality.

Kept in the Dark has deep and resounding meaning for both the spiritually inclined and for those who revel in the details of a profound and enduring marital relationship. Offering much potential as an informal teaching tool for newly married couples who have still, in many cases, to endure the adversities of marriage, this memoir could well be recommended as a springboard for discussion of the most meaningful kind. Just as does the Holy Text that forms the background to the work (in allusion more than in direct reference), it also offers hope for those who are battling the storms of life, and who might be finding it difficult to see any horizon of redemption and joy.