J is a Joker

J is an odd character – a joker, certainly, but is J just a funny guy? Don’t jokers have something sinister about them? See Batman if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Also see Alice in Wonderland. Thus, the letter

J oldletter

is for James. P.D. James that is, or Baroness James of Holland Park to be perfectly correct about the whole thing.

P.D. James writes mostly mysteries featuring the poetic policeman Adam Dalgliesh. (No, I don’t know how to properly say his name. This meant I didn’t read James for a while because I didn’t know what to call this character in my head. I’ve got some sounds in my head now when I look at the name, but am quite certain I’ve made them up and they are not correct.) The crime in the mysteries are a part of the sinister aspect of James. The other sinister aspect comes in what I consider her best work, The Children of Men, a novel set in a future in which humans have not been able to reproduce for 25 years. That is all I’m going to tell you about The Children of Men, except to say that you should go and read it immediately. If you saw the movie, purge that immediately from your mind. Read the book. I want to assign this book for courses on children’s ministry I may teach in the future. It would be one of the first books assigned. Read it and see if you can figure out why.

The fun part of P.D. James comes with Death Comes to Pemberley. Yes, that’s Pemberley as in Mr. Darcy’s lovely house in Pride and Prejudice. James is an Austen fan, and writes a fantastic fanfic follow up to Pride and Prejudice with a murder happening at Pemberley. It is brilliant and fun and you should just go and read it. I had a discussion with my Orthodox colleague who doesn’t think she can bring herself to read Death Comes to Pemberley because she feels it violates Miss Austen’s work. While I can see where she’s coming from a little, it is P.D. James, and she has done a marvelous job of helping us step into an extended version of Jane Austen’s world.

On a completely different note, today J also stands for Justine, as in Justine Dufour-Lapointe, gold medal women’s moguls for Canada! And she stands on the podium with her sister, Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, silver medallist! #WeAreWinter.

 

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