In Gone Away Into the Land there is a disquieting connection between the innocent story-telling aspect of its surface and the dimly appreciated depths of its interior.
Gone Away Into the Land is extremely relevant.
Why? . . . because it addresses the naivety of our motives as children and plays out to address the perversion that infects the most basic of human characteristics as we are bound by adulthood.
Gone Away addresses tough issues by subtly contrasting the innocence of the setting with the upheaval of one family and the nature of power. The Boy’s father is named Daniel for a reason, because in the book of Daniel, evil is forever fighting for control. Gone Away is not a religious book by any means, but it subtly borrows from both the European Bible and the Ethiopian Bible. This adds a great deal of relevance to its philosophical undertones.
First and foremost, the reader of Gone Away feels the symbolic fear John, the twelve year old protagonist and his family live under. Daniel, the father, is evil by whatever personal definition one cares to place on the word. Yet, he dwells in evil more out of privation and depravation than out of a demonic possession.
Later, Daniel experiences the force of evil. It is then that he is drawn in and led by infatuation in the way many are motivated and taken in by organized religion; such as in the Old Testament when it speaks of the Principality of Powers. Daniel is invited in and he goes willingly.
The setting in Gone Away represents goodness. The Land is where candy and sweet things are invented and then gifted by ordinance to a worldly recipient.
John hunts his father down in the Land. The Land, however, has a dark-side as well, and John finds himself battling that dark side which is clearly within him, while chasing down his father through hatred and vengeance.
Although Gone Away speaks to the precepts; a common sense set of values perceived as what is necessary to live a good and fruitful life, it also heralds that there is a time and place for war.
The message in Gone Away is that we need to make a judgment - a choice. Does evil prove to us ultimate hopelessness to survive its power and hatred or does it give an affirmation of the greatness of a so-called heaven that by itself shines within darkness and contains a hint of a power greater than death itself.
As human beings we are drawn to evil out the misperception of doing good. Our need to answer the unanswerable and our inability to conceive infinity has caused the fracturing of the human race along borders, some drawn on maps and others drawn within the hearts and minds of men.
Gone Away explores basic human characteristics by conceiving the journey beyond this life. It contends the energy that connects living organisms is unique to the individual. "It is your journey and my journey, thus, mine is only like yours because it is one you will never comprehend." That concept in and of itself is fascinating.
The story in Gone Away is about the wonder of the discoverable energy that empowers the workings of the Earth as well as the Universe we exist within. It says that our life force is not finite, nor is it eternal, and nor is it born anew, but rather it is infinitely inseparable from that which binds us to every living thing.
Read this book.