Susan Prudhomme

Susan Prudhomme is a retired probation officer, mother of one grown daughter, and the wife of an Anglican-priest. But at heart, Susan is a lover of Narnia and Middle Earth and all such worlds (including our own, if only you look at it right). Thinking about these loves, she once asked God for a job that would pay her for writing, and He gave her a career writing pre-sentence reports for the criminal courts, thus demonstrating not only that He is faithful, but that He has a sense of humor. Now that she is retired, she is free to express her awe at His creative work by creating, in story form, worlds of her own. Susan’s published novels (OakTara, 2011) are The Forest: Book I of Menchian Journeys (a fantasy journey-quest that allegorizes the spiritual walk); and The Wisdom of Ambrose (a fantasy about a woman who, wondering where she belongs, finds herself in the world of a lovable bear who wonders if he can ever be good). The Desert: Book II of Menchian Journeys and Final Harvest (an apocalypse with a twist) are to be published soon. Susan has also contributed articles and a book review to Touchstone. Susan can be found on Facebook under “Susan Prudhomme - Author,” and at her website, www.susanprudhomme.com.

Book Reviews by Susan Prudhomme

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Our Lady of West 74th Street

In Our Lady of West 74th Street, the reader is presented with a cast of characters living in different times and places: 

42 AD: The Apostle John paints an icon of Mary. 

Present day New York:  Professor Emily Campbell is researching a book to debunk stories of supernatural occurrences, including appearances of angels, Christ, and the Virgin Mary.

1941 Mt. Athos:  Klaus Bronner is cataloging precious art works for transport to Hitler’s Germany.  While there, he is entrusted with the care of the mysterious icon.   

Presen...

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The Day Immanuel Kant Was Late

I loved this book, a collection of fourteen frequently beautiful, often brilliant, sometimes bizarre stories that take the reader from Heaven to Hell and many earthly points between.  They are divided into “Philosophical Fables,” “Pious Tales,” “Graceless Tales,” and “Family Stories,” and all illustrate, often with humor but sometimes pathos, a Christian understanding of life.  Reading them, one imagines oneself cozy before a crackling fire, listening to a tough but wise Irish grandfather.

In the first section, Philosophical Fables, we find “Simon...

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The Father's Tale: A Novel

In The Father’s Tale, Michael D. O’Brien has again painted for us the devastation of human culture and spirit wrought by socialist despotism, couched within a gripping story beautifully – often poetically - told.  At a deeper level, it is about radical loss and hope. At an even deeper level, it is a story of kenosis, the spiritual stripping that the one who would follow Jesus all the way must undergo.  At a yet deeper level, it is a picture of God’s unending quest to find his lost children.

Alexander Graham is the mildest of mild-mannered men, a middle-aged widower wh...

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The Great Divorce

I often wonder what Heaven is really like.  Probably, so do most Christians.  It seems the book market these days is flooded with stories of people who have clinically died and revived, and then tell their experiences of the afterlife.  Although C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce is an account of a trip to Heaven, it is fictional and is not intended as a sneak peek beyond the veil.  It is, as Lewis wrote in the preface, “. . . not even a guess or a speculation at what may actually await us.”

What, then, is this book?  It is a deceptively simple story abou...

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Hieros Gamos: (Sacred Union) A Confession



Reiner d’Ivry is a character I will not soon forget. A young 12th Century monk who has spent most of his life in a monastery and has gained admiration from his brother monks as a scholar – yet his is a soul in torment.

In his mind, it is because of his monastic life that he is so bitter, because it was not his choice. Reiner’s father, Lord of Sundorgate Castle, gave his son to the Wrenthorpe monastery as an oblate at the age of six. It is not until his fifteenth year that Reiner, who until then has deeply cherished expectations to return to Sundorgate and assume ...

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Asulon (Book One: The Sword of Fire)

 



Daniel, a prince of Asulon, returns home joyfully from a year of wilderness survival training, but his joy is short-lived. Enemies murder the king, his beloved father, and will murder Daniel if they can. Daniel must be spirited away quickly and secretly to the safety of his grandfather Anak’s court on the Isle of Logres, where he will undergo a required ten more years of training before he can assume kingship in his father’s stead.

Thus the stage is set for Asulon: The Sword of Fire – Book I, by William R. McGrath. The book’s opening chapte...

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Roan: The Tales of Conor Archer, Volume I

Seventeen-year old Conor Archer’s mother dies in his arms, leaving him alone in Chicago. Just before her death, she gives him a letter from a heretofore unknown “Aunt Emily,” who lives in a small village, Tinker’s Grove, in southwestern Wisconsin. It directs him to come to the village to live with her, as he is in danger.

But he has already been visited by a bizarre character who appears, wounds Conor’s hand, and disappears suddenly. By the time Conor arrives in Tinker’s Grove, he is close to death from a strange infection caused by this wound.

The myster...

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The Magdalene Mystery

Will the real Mary Magdalene please stand up! Much has been written on this saint, in the form of sensationalist fiction on the one hand, or dry academic essay on the other. If you long for a trustworthy antidote to both that is thoroughly enjoyable and well-written, The Magdalene Mystery by Christine Sunderland is for you.

Kelly Ann Roberts is a single mother, barely making ends meet and a bit reclusive after the hurt of being abandoned by her son’s father, later followed by the trauma of her parents’ never-resolved murder. With the death of Father Gilbert, the godfather she has half...

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Destiny's Hands

Bezalel, a highly talented young Hebrew artisan, has been selected by his Egyptian masters to train as a worker in precious metals. Though he visits his family regularly, he is housed in a kind of dormitory attached to the studio where he and his co-workers make jewelry, furnishings for wealthy homes, and idols of the Egyptian gods. His remarkable talent has elevated him to a position of special favor with the overseer, and indeed, his work is admired to the point that he is assigned projects for Pharaoh himself.

All of this nurtures Bezalel’s pride, and along with it a cherished daydream that he mi...

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To the Stable: Encounters on the Way to Bethlehem

In To the Stable, Encounters on the Way to Bethlehem, Brother Richard Contino has given us a book that is not quite a novel, although it is something like that; not quite a poem, although it is something like that, too; not a word-symphony, although it has some relation to a musical work; and not quite a volume of meditations, although it is perhaps most like that, and this reviewer found it to be the most satisfying way to approach the book.

The story centers on the Star of Bethlehem, and the various characters in the grand drama of the Incarnation who are affected by the Star’s presence and dr...

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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.