Book Reviews by Karen Celano

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Beyond the Glass

Antonia White’s novel Beyond the Glass, the last of a semi-autobiographical fictional quartet, tells the story of twenty-two-year-old Clara Batchelor and opens in medias res. In the first two chapters we learn, through a series of conversations between Clara’s parents, that Clara has been unhappily married for several months and is now seeking a divorce.

Clara is Catholic, but annulment should be relatively easy to procure, as the marriage was unconsummated due to the purported impotence of Archie, Clara’s husband. The story does not end there, however. It is hinted tha...

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Deep River

Shusaku Endo’s remarkable tale of spiritual pilgrimage takes us from urban Japan, through the French countryside, the jungles of Burma, and finally to the banks of the Ganges River as we follow its characters’ quest for a faith broader than the only things they know – arid secularism, sterile Christianity, and routinized Buddhism. 

Endo gives five “case studies” that form a cross-section of Japanese society: Isobe, the unfeeling husband whose stoicism is shattered by his wife’s death; Mitsuko, the nihilistic secularist whose cynicism is uprooted by a classmate’s i...

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Busy Monsters: A Novel

With rollicking prose and a unique voice, William Giraldi takes us on a wild ride that traverses the country and propels us down the annals of a literary tradition stretching from Homer to Kerouac, from Cervantes to Vonnegut.  He tells a very old story--the story of a man trying to win the heart of a woman--in a refreshingly modern way and demonstrates that, even amid the confusion and cynicism of post-post-modernity, true love and romance still have meaning.

Charles Homar has just returned home from a providentially thwarted quest to kill his fiancée Gillian’s creepy ex-boyfriend, only to fi...

Catholic, Ink.

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Catholic, Ink.

Be part of the Catholic Literary Revival

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.