Reviews

Praise for The Lion’s Den

Good fiction mirrors life with a keen insight into the complexities of human existence. Great fiction inspires us to accept the terms of that bargain and relish the fleeting joys life has to offer us. In the case of Jerry Fabyanic’s The Lion’s Den, a sequel of sorts to his remarkable first effort, Sisyphus Wins, we experience not only the depths of human sorrow in living a life unfulfilled, but also the possibility that lies beyond. Focusing on the spiritual and personal evolution of Daniel, a Jesuit struggling with the repression of his own sexual identity, the story speaks also to a universal truth of questioning and finding oneself in the midst of a chaotic world with few intelligible answers.

Just as Fabyanic guides us through Daniel’s quest to find himself in the midst of uncertain relationships both in himself and with others, he masterfully interweaves the story of Rafael and Miguel, allowing each of these threads to meaningfully inform the other. Brothers who were once students of Daniel, they now find themselves on the precipice of a fate they seem incapable of escaping. Haunted by the demons of their own tortured childhood, both follow a path of self-destruction, searching to make peace with themselves before it is too late. In the end, it is a story of love and forgiveness, of turmoil and survival, of loss and sacrifice in a life where sometimes even that is not quite enough. While The Lion’s Den pushes the boundaries of our own self-definition, in the end it does so with what every great novel does: hope.

— Steven Craig,
High School English teacher and Author of Waiting for Today

Jerry Fabyanic has produced a work that is both sensitive and powerful, centering on the lives, thoughts, and feelings of the protagonist and his circle of intriguing friends. We come to know a complex man whose complexities become increasingly evident as the story progresses. We feel with him as he reassesses his life and grapples with issues and emotions exploding around him. This journey, while unique to this group of people, has universal relevance.

There is another sort of universality here. The story has deep roots in philosophy, psychology (particularly Jungian), faith, and mysticism. These core concepts are developed through and intertwined with the characters and story. They are not given as a classroom lecture.

In short, The Lion’s Den is a page-turner with meaning.

— John R. Taylor,
Retired Director of Investment and Biotechnology/Healthcare Specialist

With the canyons and sage prairies of New Mexico and the foothills and mountains of Colorado as background, Jerry Fabyanic masterfully explores the story of Daniel, a conflicted Jesuit priest questioning his faith, relationships, and way forward. Like the character Jonathan, Jerry’s focus is on what is hidden behind, beyond, or below the surface. Settings, such a room with morning shadows or the spiritual landscape of Chaco Canyon, often reflect the mood of the characters and create a sense of being there. Vivid dreams and riveting conversations take us into Daniel’s world and the many motifs and archetypal themes interwoven throughout provide structure and a unique vision.

I found the book to be a page-turner, and I wanted to know what happens to the characters.  The Lion’s Den is an excellent portrayal of one man’s journey. To be continued.

— Donna Taylor,
Former Human Resources Analyst at an International Organization

 

With The Lion’s Den, Jerry Fabyanic has crafted an immensely readable novel about real, fallible people who face and deal with the difficult issues of living. Daniel Patrick Murphy is an Everyman at a crucial time in his life. He is not only exploring his own self and motivations but also reaching out to others whose lives he has touched. Jerry’s story is one to which the reader will relate, and they may find their own lives reflected in the sympathetic characters. One will find that the people and the story will stay in their mind well after the book has been completed.

— Marty McCune,
Retired Teacher and Prolific Consumer of Great Literature

Jerry Fabyanic is a prolific writer who is a master at character development. In The Lion’s Den, the reader easily perceives the feelings of Daniel as he grapples with his beliefs and the honesty of his relationships. Insightful Jonathan serves as the mainstay who imparts unshakable genuineness that counterbalances Daniel’s unsettled desires. Jerry nudges us to determine if we will hold ourselves captive in the lion’s den of life or break the bondage of the trappings of our minds.

— Judith Janson, M.S.
Retired I.B. Science teacher