Her first feat in describing characters from different walks of supernatural life working together and accepting each other was interesting and compelling. In creating the character of Jade, who’s both a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll, mixed in with blues, jazz, hip hop and rap along the way, Rose Montague has highlighted the direction in which our whole society is moving. It’s getting to be that we’re all mongrels who have bits of many nationalities, cultures, ethnicities and religions in our backgrounds. My children certainly got a mixed bag from me and my husband, whose backgrounds could not be more different (well, I guess they could if one of us were a blend of Basque and Aboriginal and the other were Mayan with a dash of Japanese and the Mongolian steppe thrown in, but still, we come from distinct ancestries). And these days, our identities are not only fluid, but the aspects of ourselves we choose to highlight may change over the course of our lives, depending on many factors, including who we choose to marry, as it did for Jade in Rose’s book. The character of Jade is a unifying one, and the mission also serves to bring people together. It’s a beautiful thing.
Secondly, I was very intrigued by the ease and grace with which Rose Montague describes the way Jade and Jane, two very powerful beings in their own right, and even more so when they join forces, ask for help. It is as natural as rain for them to seek assistance when they need it without any of the angst or drama that attends mere mortals asking for help. We get so bent out of shape about it. We tell ourselves that a need for help tells everyone that we are insufficient in ourselves to get the job done. Like asking for help is the ultimate admission of powerlessness and failure. Why do we believe that and why can’t we get over ourselves? I used to be as guilty as the next person of this silly, self-centered behavior, but I’ve definitely gotten over myself. Now, my attitude is, why should I struggle to go it alone when I can ask for help and share the load? It seems so simple, but I know from both experience and observation that it just isn’t. So it’s wonderful to see such a great example of asking for help in action in Jane.
Finally, asking for help and accepting it gracefully are also two different animals entirely. Sometimes, we ask for help but then turn around and resent the hell out of the person or persons who gave it to us. We don’t want to need the help, and when someone actually provides it we feel embarrassed or inadequate or deficient in some way, which makes us defensive. And, as I’ve written about before (http://www.truthinfantasy.com/blog/-people-need-love-most-when-they-deserve-it-the-least ), what is the most common idea of a good defense? You got it, a good offense. So we go on the offensive against the very people who are trying to be helpful, loving and supportive. Sucks for all concerned. But not Jade and Jane. They are appreciative and generous with those who have offered to lend a hand in their quest to stop the evil that they are chasing. On several occasions in Jane, the two protagonists go out of their way to acknowledge and repay the generosity of their supporters. It’s lovely to see and an excellent reminder of how I want to behave.
So I’m grateful to Rose Montague for both the opportunity to read her new book ahead of time and for the reminder that teamwork works, even among those with little in common, and asking for and accepting help can be done graciously and easily. And for a good read along the way. My favorite things, all together: a great yarn, a good lesson, and a shining example to follow. Can’t beat that with a metal baseball bat (to understand that reference you’ll have to read Jane, which I suggest you do!)