Under the Grapevine
Under the Grapevine, written by Chrissi Hart, illustrated by Claire Brandenburg; Conciliar Press, 2006.
Reviewed by Susan Smoley
Under the Grapevine is a sumptuous picture book with much information in the text. It tells the story of the miraculous healing of the author's grandmother in in Akhna on the island of Cyprus. Dr. Chrissi Hart skillfully weaves the narrative with descriptions and explanations of life lived as an Orthodox; actions such as regular worship, crossing yourself, lighting candles, venerating icons, preparing killiva and propsphora. Central to the story are the prayers of the people-at first for intercession and then in gratitude and praise. That the actions and prayers occurred then as they should today, provides a wonderful sense of continuity and knowledge about the Orthodox faith.
At the end of the book, Dr. Hart includes additional facts about St. Kendeas who lived between the 7th and the 10th centuries and was born in what is modern-day Germany. Dr. Hart has produced a compelling educational work that is equally suited to both home and classroom for children through middle-school age.
"Readings from Under the Grapevine," http://ancientfaith.com
After the publication of her first book, Under the Grapevine, Chrissi Hart was asked to present a Saturday-night reading time for Ancient Faith Radio, "Readings from Under the Grapevine." Several works have been presented and are archived. With her slight British accent, Dr. Hart's voice gives a charming quality to the narratives, making each a special experience.