A Place for Us
A Lent Course
based on West Side Story
Author Lavinia Byrne & Jane McBride
Publisher DLT £6.99
There has been a trend to make Lent courses connect with a film in the last decade or so. This book looks at belonging, otherness and difference, the gift of love, the promise of a place for us and the tragedy of betrayal – all of these themes that are in the classic Sondheim/Bernstein/Laurens musical, West Side Story. The book includes a suggested scene to see from the new Spielberg film version and then leads the reader to a warm up, which sets the scene for the study. Then it includes prayers, a meditation written by Lavinia Byrne, a scripture reading, another reflection, group discussion material as well as a poem by Phil Lane for each topic.
Does it cohere? There does seem to be a problem with not necessarily all the parts meeting. However, there is so much material here that the book is worth having as a way to show that a Lent course can be constructed using film, showing the technique that could be used in a different context. The poems by Phil Lane and many of the questions used for group discussions can be used in other contexts. This is a satisfying resource which is worth its price.
Reviewed by CAVAN WOOD