Hinds' Feet on High Places
In an allegory about spiritual conversion, Hinds' Feet on High Places follows the journey of Much-Afraid up to the Mountain of Spices. She sets out on her journey with the Shepherd, who she does not yet know nor understand well, but whom she loves. He gives her companions for her journey, Sorrow and Suffering, and calls her to live on the High Places with him. But, he warns, the journey is not to be an easy one.
Through her difficult journey, Much-Afraid learns that what she had thought was love wasn't quite the real thing. She allows the Shepherd to plant his seed of love in her heart, and the whole journey is really just a way of allowing that seed to grow, and for the tree that comes from the seed to strengthen her weak, crippled body. The seed of love does its job, but not at all in the way Much-Afraid expects. She is constantly called on to do things in a way that seem counterintuitive. And only by doing so can she really follow the Shepherd to the home he has prepared for her.
The story is written in a style that might seem odd to some readers who are not very exposed to allegory. There is a depth to it, though, that makes the book good for multiple reads, and also allows for easy discussion with others who have read the novel. It is a very attractive picture of what a life following the Shepherd can (and should) be like.
reviewed by Shelly Bryant ©2010