Book Review

Michael O’Brien: Catholic Author Extraordinaire

Need a good read?

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Seriously awesome book.

My Book Club is reading one of Michael O’Brien’s novels for January – Strangers and Sojourners.   It’s excellent, and you should read it too.

Just check out this dialogue below, which happens between a woman named Turid and her husband, Camille.  Turid is helping her friend, Anne, give birth, while Camille tramps  in and drags off Anne’s husband, to spare him the whole birthing experience.

“Birthin’s fer wimmen!”  called back Camille.
“Birthin’s not fer cowards, that’s fer damsure!”  she yelled at the back of their heads.

All I can say is, that’s insightful.  But why should you read it?

  1. Because it’s a love story.  Anne Ashton, an Englishwoman, is teaching in the Bush in Canada and stumbles upon Steve Delaney, an Irishman lying fatally ill in his cabin.  She must care for him, or he’ll die.  And he hates the English.
  2. This book is about pain and suffering, which we can all relate to.  And it’s beautiful because beauty comes from pain and suffering.  We need only to look at a crucifix to realize this.
  3. And we can all relate to Turid L. O’Raison too.  (She’s the speaker of that above quotation.)  Well she might be a hard, crude woman, but she’s capable of making the most profound statements.  And she’s funny, and she gets it.  Giving birth is certainly not for cowards, as most of us know.
  4. This novel is mostly set in twentieth-century Canada, where it’s even colder and darker than here.  Man, do I feel sorry for those Northerners.  Just reading about them makes winter here seem like a Tropical Paradise.
  5. And finally, you should read it because it’s edifying.  Every time I read one of O’Brien’s novels, I am more human.
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In the end, consider reading all of O’Brien’s novels.  That should keep you busy for awhile.

Therefore, my suggestion is to get this book, pour yourself a big glass of wine, and if your house is anything like mine, lock yourself in the bathroom, so that you may read away undisturbed by the children.  You won’t regret it.

 

2 thoughts on “Michael O’Brien: Catholic Author Extraordinaire”

  1. Thank you for the recommendation. Yesterday my 17 year old was commenting he had no good books to read. I’ve ordered this one, fir myself, and I hope I find it’s suitable for him too.

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  2. Before you give the book to him, read first the passage of Anne and Steve’s wedding night. (If you’ve got the paperback, it’s pages 146-147.) This passage is very beautifully written, but you’ll need to decide if he’s mature enough for it.

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