Rumi Poetry Club
This Month’s Feature: Six Weeks to Yehidah
A ten-year-old girl, Annalise of the Verdant Hills, falls asleep and wakes up in a wonderland (actually in the sky) where she embarks on a journey with her two sheep, Mabel and Mimi. A search party is sent to find Annalise, and Annalise, in turn, is trying to find out why she is where she is. As the novel’s central character, Annalise remains charming throughout the story: Inquisitive, fond of outdoors and adventure, and at ease to talk with animals. To know the rest of the story, it is best to read Six Weeks to Yehidah by Melissa Studdard.
This is Studdard’s first novel which happens to be in the genre of children fantasy, in the tradition of Alice in Wonderland and Dorothy in the Land of Oz. And like these books, Six Week to Yehidah will be loved and read by adults as well partly because it contains spiritual allegory. Take for instance the word Yehidah: In Hebrew it means “oneness.” Isn’t that we are all seeking in the wonderland of our own life? Therefore, Annalise is an archetype of the wonder child in all humans, although this story gives a shape and color to it.
Melissa Studdard, MFA, has taught at several colleges and currently teaches creative writing at Lone Star College in Houston; she is also a contributing editor for both Tiferet Journal and The Criterion, and a book reviewer for The National Poetry Review. She lives in Texas with her teenage daughter Rosalind to whom the book has been dedicated. (A poem in the story is actually Rosalind’s contribution.)
The idea to write Six Weeks to Yehida came during a critique-writing group when the participants were asked to write a short fairy tale. Studdard’s assignment ended up in this novel of nineteen chapters. The book offers a delightful story for all ages to read.
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