For more than twenty years now, my brother, Andrew Peterson, has been baring his soul in his music, and in doing so he’s shined a light into the dark corners of the souls of others, mine included. But he’s no ordinary singer-songwriter, he’s a novelist as well, and his Wingfeather books are beloved far and wide; they’ve lighted up untold numbers of faces and hearts of their own, and in their own ways. But today marks the release of something different.
In Adorning the Dark, Andrew wades out into the waters of non-fiction, and the result is something that hews closer to his songwriting than to the wild imagination of his novels. Here he’s opening himself up to the world and showing us the dark reaches inside of himself. If you’ve paid attention to the Burning Edge of Dawn album, you’ll recognize some of the landscape of Adorning the Dark.
The book covers a lot of territory, from the creativce process, to the difficulties of discernment, to discipline, to the importance of community, and Andrew does it all with the same keenness of language he employs to craft his songs. If you’ve read his writing here on the Rabbit Room, or if you’ve been to his sessions at Hutchmoot, or if you’ve heard him speak elsewhere, you won’t be surprised to find that his ability to tell a good story and winnow it down to an essential truth serves him as well in book form as it does elsewhere. What’s always made Andrew such a good writer is that he’s not afraid to plumb the depths and shine light on what he finds. Thankfully, he looks long and hard and what he finds is good.
And this is a book filled with good, good things—trinkets and treasures in the form of insights and revelations mined during the hard work of thinking critically, and living faithfully, and loving well. I’m proud of him, and I’m proud of this book. He’s spent a lifetime adorning not merely the darkness but the people around him and the world itself—dressing us in light. That good and faithful work has taught him a lot, and I’m glad he’s taken on the task of sharing his experiences with those who will listen. I’m not too proud to admit that I have a lot to learn, even from my younger brother.
I hope this book does you the same kind of good it did me. I hope you find an openness in it that brightens some dark place inside you. I hope it shines a light on the path in front of you. I hope it helps you find a light of your own to shine for others.
Today is release day. Congratulations, Andrew. Now everyone else go find a copy and enjoy the journey.
[Adorning the Dark is available in the Rabbit Room Store and wherever great books are sold.]
Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.