In "Letter to a Godchild," Price recounts how his life has been shaped by numerous and varied spiritual influences -- from the Bible-story books his parents bought him before he could read, to the childhood days spent exploring dense woods near his home (woods where he searched for arrowheads and spied on numerous wild animals), to Sundays at church with his father and mother, his travels around the world to magisterial structures as various as St. Peter's and the old Penn Station, and years of study both in and out of the classroom. With no trace of self-pity, he explains how his faith grew and deepened when in 1984 -- after a life of robust health -- he suffered a cancer that eventually led to paralysis of his lower body.
"Letter to a Godchild" includes striking pictures of the buildings, objects, places, and events that have deepened the author's religious sensibility. He has also compiled a comprehensive section on further reading, looking, and listening that provides suggestions for books, art, and music that will entertain as well as enhance this volume. A profoundly intelligent and moving explication of religion and spirituality, "Letter to a Godchild" is an exhilarating experience for readers of all faiths.
Of sons and godsons
In a more philosophical vein is Reynolds Price's Letter to a Godchild: Concerning Faith. Price is a professor of English at Duke University and the godfather of Harper Peck Voll, Gregory Peck's grandson. Letter to a Godchild began in 2000 as a christening gift to the infant Harper and his parents, and is Price's attempt to share his philosophy and faith with the young man his godchild will one day become. In the book, Price explores his own life of faith and the choices, good and bad, that have led him to the place he is today. Letter to a Godchild is well crafted and deeply personal, a reflection of Price's faith, thought and self-examination. The reader may not agree with every interpretation Price offers, but this short journey is well worth taking.