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  • Writer's pictureSarahHauer

Lori vs. Laura

On my recent trip to Minnesota, it was conveyed to me a certain person I know did not like Power of Ketchup, and I was given a brief yet non-informative reason why. In other words, the reason didn't make sense. From what I gathered, this person missed the whole point of the story. The person telling me this loved the book because she said it was different than any other book she had ever read. I don't think she got the point either, but I am still happy she enjoyed it, and I am happy it caused an interesting discussion between the two of them.

I was dwelling on this during my morning walk today. I thought maybe I would give some insight into my reasons for writing this story - a little deeper than the toilet paper fiasco of 2020.

First, allow me to reiterate where the story came from. It started early 2020 when covid was shutting everything down and people were having fist fights at the Costco stores in the area over toilet paper and paper towels and bottled water and Lysol. Things that really are not all that important. Not when compared to people, individuals, souls, relationships. I saw a world where priorities were f*****. Yes, I am being very frank.

I wondered what mundane things could bring people together instead of pulling them apart. I pondered this for months. Suddenly, it hit me like a lightning bolt while out on my walk one morning, and the Power of Ketchup was born.

More deeply, here is the point of the story. I heard this quote from a gentleman by the name of Dave Matthews. No, not the singer. He is a grief expert from Canada. I'm not sure if he made it up or if he got it from someone else. He said, "We don't know what we don't know, and what we don't know is a lot." In other words, we have a tendency to believe we know another person's thoughts, feelings, intentions, beliefs, morals and values, and heart. Therefore, we don't bother having conversations with them to ask and find out the real truth behind their decisions and actions. We think we know. We judge. But, we don't know.

Case in point, please allow me to point out two characters: Lori, the town slut, and Laura, the pastor's wife. These two are in juxtaposition in such a way that their moral contrasts are obvious. Except, they are not. Scratch below the surface and, in fact, these two women are morally the same. They both have deep hurts. They both seek solace for those hurts in the arms of others. They both are battling to overcome their moral discrepancies between their own beliefs and their own actions.

Yes, that is why their names are similar. It's deliberate.

The real problem within the town of Pennington's Corner itself is other people pointing the finger at either of them and making comparisons. They are the same. And yet, at the same time, they are individuals who should not be made to feel in competition with anyone else. They deserve respect. Laura gets respect. Lori does not. It's an unfair system because it is a human system tolerated by a god who supposedly loves us and understands us because he is the only one who really knows the truth in all of our hearts. In my view, God is trying to communicate those truths to us. We are the ones not listening.

I also attempted to subtly show that the adage "hurt people hurt people" has a deeper meaning. "Hurt people hurt people, and hurt themselves the most." We see this in Craig as he attempts to honor his love for Lori. He seems to fail at every turn because he carries around so much internal pain that he is unable to heal.

Where do you see these or other lessons in the lives of other citizens in this little town?

Hopefully, you have enjoyed this insight.

If you have a comment or question, or a blog idea, shoot me an email at

Thanks for reading!



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