On April 17, 2007, one of Tolkien’s earliest works was published in completed form. The Children of Hurin, completed by Christopher Tolkien (a work in progress for the past 30 years!) with the help of his son, hit the top of the New York Times Best Seller list and sold out of bookstores immediately.

Last Sunday, I was given my copy of this legendary book. I will not give much background and will try not to provide any spoilers. I will say this: at Harvest (my church home), we teach our kids to “make the wise choice.” If only, if only, someone had taught this lesson to the children of Hurin!

This story will leave you shaking your head and shrieking at Turin, Morwen and Nienor to listen to the elves or to his mentor or to anyone other than their own stinking pride and rashness! This book to me reads like a parable warning against pride and anger. Ahhh…those headstrong children…

The backdrop of the entire story is that Hurin (pronounced /hoo-rin/) is captured by Morgoth. He and all his descendants are cursed with a mighty curse

but upon all whom you love my thought shall weigh as a cloud of Doom, and it shall bring them down into darkness and despair. Wherever they go, evil shall arise. Whenever they speak, their words shall bring ill counsel. Whatsoever they do shall turn against them. They shall die without hope, cursing both life and death.

Well, if that doesn’t make you want to read the book, I don’t know what will!

Not only will Hurin’s loved ones be cursed in this manner, but Hurin is forced to watch the events unfold. He sees the events, and worse, he sees them as distorted through the eyes of Morgoth. Which leads me to the title of this post: Trainwreck…the lives of Hurin’s children and wife are a veritable trainwreck of shattered dreams, pride and twisted good intentions.

Of course, read it as a fan of Tolkien. But, have someone nearby to hand over the kleenex and to nod sympathetically.