Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Book Review: Glaen by Fred R. Lybrand

From the back cover:

Glaen: A Novel Message on Romance, Love and Relating“Annie is a college grad-student who is stumped about love.  Her mom and dad are in the throes of a divorce, her teenage sister is obsessed with how her boyfriend makes her look, and her closest friend Jennah is on a continual ride of running off every guy she dates.

Friendships, dating, romance, and marriage—it’s all confusing to Anne until the day a white-haired stranger appears in her life.  Glaen is an unusual professor with an unusual name.  Her white-haired unconventional mentor guides Annie on a path of discovery that unlocks the secrets of real relationships in a world gone phony.  By abandoning herself to learn, Annie discovers the mystifying affect of how learning to tell the truth changes everything in friendship, family, and love.”  

Fred Lybrand’s Glaen is a new take on the thousands of relationship books that have been written over the decades.  He wisely notes that readers tend to be more interested in concepts if they’re presented in the form of a narrative, rather than in the usual instructional style of most self-help books.  As such, Lybrand takes concepts that could easily be presented in non-fiction form and fleshes them out amongst the characters within Glaen (rhymes with “rain”).

I agree with Mr. Lybrand—it’s easy to lose interest in a book about relationships and never complete it out of sheer disinterest.  And while his fictional tale isn’t one for the ages, it presents some important and eternal concepts in a memorable and intriguing way.   The reading level is straightforward, giving the impression of an “after school special” from years gone by.  However, this style is perfect, as the target audience is most likely those in their late teens and 20’s, those who are beginning their more serious romantic experiences. As for this reader, a 39 year-old wife of 15+ years, I felt that seasoned spouses like me can learn from Annie’s discoveries with her mysterious mentor Glaen.

Be prepared to have the way you think about relationships to shift a bit.  Lybrand questions the effectiveness of the dating scene, but he also sets his sights on the conservative tradition of courting.  He finds significant flaws in both methods of finding a spouse, as well as flaws in how we relate to each other romantically after marriage. He offers up alternatives that may not seem new, but somehow they feel revolutionary.  They’re applicable in romantic as well as platonic relationships as well.

Glaen was an interesting read. There are definitely some principles within that I need to apply in my own relationships.  This modest book, which is under 200 pages, would be perfect for a senior high youth group to study, or even a small group of engaged couples.  Many excerpts are worth underlining, highlighting, and reading again.  In fact, I wish this fable/instructional text had been available 20 years ago for my generation.  Lybrand is to be commended for his discernment and for the creative manner in which he presents these important principles. Glaen will be an answer to prayer and a gift from above for many.

*          *          *

: Peace In Relationships

Watch the trailer:

This title was provided for me to review by The B&B Media Group, with no other compensation or obligation implied.


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