In the New England town of Dorsetville, the citizens are poor in worldly goods but rich in faith and compassion. For generations--long before the last woolen mill closed five years ago--Dorsetvillians have been bound together by the massive St. Cecilia's Catholic Church, slated to close after mass on Easter Sunday. On a bitter cold Ash Wednesday morning, Father James Flaherty despairs of ever turning the parish finances around. What will become of his flock and the beloved, ancient Father Keene, who had planned to live out his days at St. Cecilia's? Delightful and moving, with a cast of endearing and quirky characters, A Miracle for St. Cecilia's warms hearts and enchants readers everywhere.
Folk artist Valentine seems to strive to emulate Jan Karon in this first novel, but is more aptly compared to Thomas Kinkade, another artist whose recent novel takes place in a New England community eerily like Dorsetville, which is Valentine's setting. In this town that time forgot, Catholic priest Father James frets over the archdiocese's decision to close down his church, leaving his aging parish without a place to worship. With the exception of some surprisingly mean-spirited depictions of Dorsetville's Congregationalists and a few other minor characters, Valentine offers a cast of saints: a young family fighting cancer, an elderly prayer warrior and several kind-underneath-it-all curmudgeons. Beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday, the novel is basically an introduction to these characters, which is to be expected this is the first in a series of Dorsetville books. Valentine favors redundancy, sometimes repeating information as if it were new. Moreover, the "miracle" at the end is confusing and appears from nowhere, as do a number of other plot contrivances such as, for example, the sudden appearance of a long-lost relative of the prayer warrior. Still, Valentine's prose is readable, and unlike most Christian fiction, this novel features devout Catholics, who resemble their fictional Protestant counterparts in every way except one: they drink. (When Father James is offered coffee heavily spiked with Jack Daniels, he enthusiastically accepts.) While Valentine's portrayal of the Catholic Church is undoubtedly sugarcoated, some readers will relish her prettified vision.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
June 23, 2003
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.