The result is an amazing book of extraordinary beauty, so human and humorous, and yet so holy it becomes a work of poetry, a canticle, a song of lament and praise. In the private terrain of silence and devotion, shared with us by a writer of power and grace, Rakow offers, through Bernadette, her own lectio divina for the modern world.
No reader will forget this book or be able to read the Bible itself without a new perspective on this text that remains, arguably, Western civilization's greatest literary achievement.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-09-28
- Reviewer: Staff
After a 30-year absence, a nameless woman visits her local church in hopes of receiving the sacrament of confession. As she waits her turn, she fingers a small, handmade book, which contains the womans own interpretations of Biblical tales, written in the form of fables. From here, Rakow (The Memory Room) brilliantly swerves, leaving the nameless woman behind and immersing the reader in the characters handmade book: we see its table of contents, and then we read its stories, starting with tales of Adam and ending with the final days of Mary and Joseph after the death of Jesus. In these narratives, God fears his creations, and Joseph lives with the concern that Mary is less than honest when proclaiming her virginal pregnancy. Also tackled is the disappointment some feel when touched by their savior. After struggling with his faith, Jonah turns his back on God, and a blind manafter Jesus restores his sightwonders if life was better when he could not see. A sense of compassion radiates from every character, and while familiarity with the Bible certainly deepens the appreciation of the book, these fabulous narratives shed light on their nameless authors own relationship with God and illuminate religious tales ingrained in so many readers minds. (Dec.)