“It is not possible for us to know each other EXCEPT as we manifest ourselves in distorted shadows to the eyes of others. We do NOT even know ourselves; therefore, why should we judge a neighbor? Who knows what pain is behind virtue and what fear behind vice? No one, in short, knows what makes a man, and ONLY God knows his thoughts, his joys, his bitternesses, his agony, the injustices he commits… God is too inscrutable for our little understanding. After sad meditation it comes to me that all that lives, whether good or in error, mournful or joyous, obscure or of gilded reputation, painful or happy, is only a prologue to love beyond the grave, where all is understood and almost all forgiven”
How powerful these words are to me. Seneca’s words echo in my mind, reminding me a my own mother and how it seems that she doesn’t love or feel. What brought her to this cold place she calls her world? I don’t know.
Even more powerful that my mother gave me this book and asked me to see the similarities between myself and the main character, Caroline Ames. Caroline is very damaged and uncaring about anyone or anything besides her money. She can’t even feel for her own children. Through the entire book, which took me 2 months to get through, I was SO hurt that my mother sees me this way. Damaged, yes I am. Uncaring, SO far from it! In the end, I need to recognize that my mother MUST see herself and labels me for everything in the world that she hates about herself. So very sad.
A Prologue to Love
By: Taylor Caldwell
OverviewIn A Prologue To Love Taylor Caldwell has written a profoundly moving novel of a woman, rich beyond imagining, whose inability to give or accept love, whose fear of poverty and hostility towards the world brings in its wake tragedy and unhappiness for almost all whose lives she touches.
Caroline Ames was detested by the father she worshipped. An unscrupulous businessman, John Ames denied Caroline not only of his love, but instilled in her a horror of poverty and a faith in the power of money which was to make her the richest woman in the world – and one of the loneliest.
Miss Caldwell writes of three generations of the Ames family with great insight and compassion. Set in and around Boston during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, she has evoked the period of the great American fortunes through the intricate pattern of a family’s destiny. And she has peopled her novel with characters of unusual depth – all of whom come under the shadow of the strange recluse, Caroline Ames, and the power of her millions.
Perhaps Miss Caldwell’s most impressive achievement in A Prologue To Love is her ability to evoke the reader’s sympathy for Caroline – why it was that she so desperately needed to amass so much money at the expense of family love and community respect, and how, in the end, she comes to realize that her father’s teachings were so wrong.
It is an inspiring story of the power of love and faith in overcoming evil.