Erika Rudzis

Erika Rudzis is a writer of prose and poetry. She graduated in 2011 from Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, CA, where she studied philosophy and theology. Currently, she resides in her native Seattle. You can read her personal blog at ReVeraCaraMea.wordpress.com and follow her and Twitter: twitter.com/ReVeraCaraMea .

Book Reviews by Erika Rudzis

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Brighton Rock

When journalist “Charles” Fred Hale, comes to Brighton, he is a condemned man, and he knows it. He is running from retribution by one of Brighton’s notorious gangs; with a cold-blooded, razor-wielding, teenage killer hot on his heels, his death is inevitable. In a futile attempt to save his own life, he picks up Ida Arnold, a vulgar, but good-hearted woman, who, by accompanying him, is supposed to serve as a possible witness to his murder, and thus prevent it from coming about. But Ida only needs to leave his side for a moment, and the gang seizes the opportunity to swoop in on its prey.

...

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The Linden and the Oak

“Expansive” is the first word that comes to my mind to describe The Linden and the Oak, Mark Wansa’s tale of Rusyn peasant families of a small village in Czechoslovakia. This saga begins with the return of the young Vasyl Rusynko from America to his native village, just as the tensions that will become World War I are developing. It follows him, members of his village and his family from this time through the misery that they undergo during the war, their suffering in its aftermath, and their travails in their travels to the promised land of America.

Love for the Rusyn ...

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Bread and Wine

Bread and Wine by Ignazio Silone is a celebrated tale about the country people of Italy during the rise of fascism that took place in the early 1930’s. This novel is often characterized as an apology for the compatibility between Christianity and socialism.

I must confess to approaching this book with some general skepticism about novels as ideological vehicles – such literature can be unpleasantly heavy-handed. But having read it now, I wonder if Bread and Wine has received a reputation that is overly simplistic.

The author himself is known to be a man of uncl...

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Sophia House

Nazi-occupied Warsaw in winter is a bleak place. Here, Pawel Tarnowski is a bookseller, the proprietor of Sophia House, for which this novel is named. Early in this story, we learn that Pawel is irritated by the presence of unpacked crates of books in his shop. Pawel had purchased these crates from an estate sale with the hope that he might find that they contained some valuable merchandise, but his initial perusal of their contents reveals that he has made a poor investment. The crates are a reminder of dashed expectations. As the story proceeds, it becomes apparent that these crates express Pawel’s experience â€...

Catholic, Ink.

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Catholic, Ink.

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Sign-up for this free weekly e-newsletter and receive the free article - "What is Catholic Fiction?" Read the weekly column The Catholic Imagination and You and more.