A Far, Far Better Place
Of the five volumes in this series, this is the only one where the title is not an exact phrase from the text of a Dickens novel. The actual quote is the very last sentence of “A Tale of Two Cities,” and it goes like this: “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” I love the principle in this quote, especially since the character saying these words is about to give up his life for another man. But using the word “place” instead of “thing” or “rest” just seemed to better encompass what I wanted the theme of the book to be.
Of course, my reputation in novel writing is strongly based in tackling social and emotional issues and how they affect people’s lives. In this case, I focused on PTSD. With Jackson’s background and his experiences in the first novel, it was the perfect conflict and a wonderful opportunity to illustrate redemption and the true healing that can only come from one source, through our Savior, Jesus Christ. Because Jackson is not LDS but his wife is, illustrating his resistance to religion along with his struggle to overcome the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, gave a wonderful foundation to his being able to heal emotionally as well as spiritually.
Being the Dickens Inn Series, and having the characters passionate about his work, it was only fitting that Jackson find a piece of his own personal puzzle in the pages of a Dickens novel. Personally, I don’t think it’s possible to read a Dickens novel, (or watch a movie based on a Dickens novel) and not find something that could make us better in one way or another. Next time the holidays roll around, I would recommend starting with your favorite film version of “A Christmas Carol.” Or read the book. It’s not very long, and well worth it. What a great way to embark upon the holiday season.