Faith Flaherty

Faith is a Lay Dominican with a dual apostolate of cyber ministry and prison ministry. She likes to read, however, and reviews books as a gimmick to procure free books from publishers.  (Sh-sh-sh, don’t tell the publishing companies, though.) (Seal of Confession!)  I really enjoy books that have a theme of redemption or at least some redeeming qualities.  I abhor books that just stick in violence, sex, and the latest cultural mores fad, just to appeal to a larger audience. I am a blogger http://theonetruefaith-faith.blogspot.com who blogs about my "cloistered brothers," my thoughts, spirituality, prayer, and an occasional poem or two. Lastly, I am the general editor of ELUMEN, the internet newsletter for Lay Dominicans in the Eastern Province of St. Joseph. http://www.3op.org/  

Book Reviews by Faith Flaherty

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Voyage to Alpha Centauri

The Voyage

Being the true, candid, and unadulterated account of yet another great leap for mankind, mixed with the personal memories, irritations, and ramblings of Neil Ruiz de Hoyos
by Himself
(for his future edification and entertainment)

Did you, dear reader, do a double-take?  Did you look up, down, and around, to see if this review was a book review of Michael D. O’Brien’s Voyage to Alpha Centauri?

Good.

Now you have experienced what the reader experiences upon opening O’Brien’s novel. ...

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Monk Dawson

The reason I wanted to read Monk Dawson, by Piers Paul Read, may seem ridiculous. The story line is the faith of Edward Dawson.  My father’s name is Edward Dawson.  Talk about being called by name!

Did that make me love the book?  No, I was impartial.  I found the book interesting, intriguing, and genuine.  It’s a fictional biography of Edward Dawson, telling his story as he begins his formation as a schoolboy and taking the reader up to his life as a middle-aged man. He enters religious life immediately following high school.  In fact, it’s like he...

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Light

Swedish writer Torgny Lindgren is the son of Andreas Lindgren and Helga Björk. He studied in Umeå to become a teacher and worked as a teacher until the mid-1970s. He worked as a local politician for the Swedish Social Democratic Party, for several years. In the 1980s he converted to the Catholic faith.

As a writer, Lindgren began as a poet in 1965 but had to wait until 1982 for his breakthrough, with The Way of a Serpent (Swedish: Ormens väg på hälleberget). Lindgren has been translated into more than thirty languages and is one of Sweden's most internation...

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Too Late the Phalarope

Too Late the Phalarope by Alan Paton is an English teacher’s dream book. Any teacher of literature would find in the book an excellent opportunity for students to examine the complex society of Apartheid South Africa, the rigid cultural mores and the main characters’ humanity. At the same time, the students could also appreciate the beautiful descriptions of the country, and the moral dilemmas the plot purposes.

That being said, most students will hate this book. I also found it painful to read. Try as I might, I could not identify with any characters. I didn’t know what they were ta...

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The Edge of Sadness

If you ever wonder what your parish priest’s life is like, you’ll get your answer in The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O’Connor.  The main character is Father Hugh Kennedy, the pastor of an old, tired, and run-down parish.  Father Kennedy feels comfortable there; it suits him.

Father Hugh’s best friends growing up were John and Helen Carmody. The first time the reader meets the patriarch of the clan, Charlie, is at dinner with the Carmody’s.  Father Kennedy is considered a member of the Carmody family.    John is a fellow priest and remains Hugh K...

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The Cross

Kristin Lavransdatter is a trilogy of historical novels written by Sigrid Undset. This edition is a translation by Tiina Nunnally, which I found very understandable.  Notes are included for further explanation in the back of the novel. 

The Cross is about the life of a Norwegian woman living in the fourteenth century.  The culture was completely foreign to me, but I found the customs fascinating. 

I was particularly interested in the fact that there seemed to be no capital punishment.  Two men were killed and the perpetrators weren’t arrested, thrown i...

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Polonaise

Polonaise is a book by Piers Paul Read which mimics the Polish dance of the same name.  The Polonaise dance is the national dance of Poland.  Poland plays an important part in the novel.  The story starts before World War II in Poland and ends after the war.

Like the dance, the novel’s characters walk together, bow, and circle around.  The dancers have to adjust to a change in meter, where there’s a hop into a bow, with a couple of quick steps as the body straightens out.  Likewise the characters fortunes fall and rise.

The main character is Stefan Kornow...

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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.