Book Reviews by Christine Murray

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The Woman of the Pharisees

As one begins to read Woman of the Pharisees, one might think there is no possibility of redemption for the title character. When the novel by Francois Mauriac first hit France during World War II, one might have thought there would be no possibility of the world ever learning about this book, although it privately had acclaim among the French people.

It is considered Mauriac’s most ambitious novel, which explores what it means to be a Catholic who is truly striving for holiness. Louis Pian, the narrator, tells the reader of his adolescence and young adulthood and the difficulties he and hi...

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Come Rack! Come Rope!

Robert Hugh Benson’s historical novel about the persecution of Catholics under the rule of Elizabeth I is one of his more popular even to this day. He wrote Come Rack! Come Rope! after being invited to preach at a retreat held at Padley in 1911—the site of a hidden chapel used during the persecutions. He read an account of the Fitzherbert family while at Padley that Dom Bede Camm had recently written.

The story’s drama was ripe for a novel about the period, especially for a recent convert who was so familiar with what the Catholics had endured under Elizabeth. The book was publi...

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.