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Catholic Fiction

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End of the Affair
Graham Greene
$10.75 (Save $1.20)
[Paperback] Penguin (1991)
Set in London during and just after World War II, Graham Greene's The End of the Affair is a pathos-laden examination of a three-way collision between love of self, love of another, and love of God. The affair in question involves Maurice Bendrix, a solipsistic novelist, and a dutifully married woman, Sarah Miles. The lovers meet at a party thrown by Sarah's dreary civil-servant husband, and proceed to liberate each other from boredom and routine unhappiness. Reflecting on the ebullient beginnings of their romance, Bendrix recalls: "There was never any question in those days of who wanted whom--we were together in desire." Indeed, the affair goes on unchecked for several years until, during an afternoon tryst, Bendrix goes downstairs to look for intruders in his basement and a bomb falls on the building. Sarah rushes down to find him lying under a fallen door, and immediately makes a deal with God, whom she has never particularly cared for. "I love him and I'll do anything if you'll make him alive.... I'll give him up forever, only let him be alive with a chance.... People can love each other without seeing each other, can't they, they love You all their lives without seeing You." Bendrix, as evidenced by his ability to tell the story, is not dead, merely unconscious, and so Sarah must keep her promise. She breaks off the relationship without giving a reason, leaving Bendrix mystified and angry. The only explanation he can think of is that she's left him for another man. It isn't until years later, when he hires a private detective to ascertain the truth, that he learns of her impassioned vow. Sarah herself comes to understand her move through a strange rationalization. Writing to God in her journal, she says: You willed our separation, but he [Bendrix] willed it too. He worked for it with his anger and his jealousy, and he worked for it with his love. For he gave me so much love, and I gave him so much love that soon there wasn't anything left, when we'd finished, but You. It's as though the pull toward faith were inevitable, if incomprehensible--perhaps as punishment for her sin of adultery. In her final years, Sarah's faith only deepens, even as she remains haunted by the bombing and the power of her own attraction to God. Set against the backdrop of a war-ravaged city, The End of the Affair is equally haunting as it lays forth the question of what constitutes love in troubling, unequivocal terms.
  Father Brown of the Church of Rome: Selected Mystery Stories
GK Chesterton
$16.15 (Save $1.80)
[Hardback] Ignatius Press (1996)
These are very good stories, excellent short detective yarns in the classic British tradition of Sherlock Holmes--puzzling concoctions of mysterious crimes, dubious suspects and ambiguous clues. They are among the best of the Father Brown stories.
Heart of the Matter
Graham Greene
$10.75 (Save $1.20)
[Paperback] Penguin (1999)
The novel's hero, Scobie, is a police official who has conflated duty with love and who doesn't get much pleasure out of either. We have the fevers, corruption, even a war, but because this is Graham Greene writing, the real damage below the water line is not done by the U-boat, but by our hero's own character. Kitchen does the Brits, the carping wife, the sorrowful mistress, locals honest and locals who lie like rugs. Everyone speaks politely, precisely, incessantly, and yet it seems not to matter at all. This road goes right to hell.
Immortal Diamond: The Spiritual Vision of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Image Pocket Classics)
Gerard Manley Hopkins
$5.40 (Save 60˘)
[Paperback] Image Books (1995)
The author's verse contains the unique paradox of a poet/priest who wanted to evoke the spiritual essence of nature sensuously, and to communicate this revelation using innovative technique and natural language. This collection gives voice to his feelings of intense spiritual longing.
  In This House of Brede
Rumer Godden
[Hardback] (1991)
This book shows the rich and full life that was to be had in an abbey. Godden portrays the nuns as human and individual beneath the uniform guise of the habit. Religious devotion is depicted with respect and warmth--a difficult combination, and a rare and welcome perspective in this day and age.
  Jeweler's Shop (Karol Wojtyla)
Pope John Paul II
$10.75 (Save $1.20)
[Paperback] Ignatius Press (1992)
Keys of the Kingdom
$13.45 (Save $1.50)
[Paperback] Little Browne & Co (1984)
  Lay Siege to Heaven: A Novel About Saint Catherine of Siena
Louis De Wohl
[Paperback] Ignatius Press (1991)
Continuing his popular series of novels about saints of the Church, de Wohl devotes his considerable talents to an interpretation of one of the most unusual women of all time, St. Catherine of Siena. The daughter of a prosperous dyer in 14th-century Siena, Catherine devoted her life to Christ, persuaded the Pope to move from Avignon to Rome, subdued the warring City-States of Italy, and changed the face of her world.
Mask of Innocence
François Mauriac
$16.20 (Save $1.80)
[Paperback] (1953)
Our Man in Havana: An Entertainment
Graham Greene
$11.65 (Save $1.30)
[Paperback] Penguin (1991)
Greene makes light of spying during the cold war. Wormold a vacuum cleaner dealer is recruited as a spy for the British in pre-Castro Cuba. He invents his information to keep the goverment money coming for his daughter who has expensive tastes. Wormold turns in drawings of vacuum cleaner parts as part of an imaginary secret installation in Cuba and invents sub-agents that all have to be paid. There is even a moral thrown in, people and families over goverments and ideologies.
Questions of Precedence
François Mauriac
$13.50 (Save $1.50)
[Paperback] (1958)
Quo Vadis
Henryk Sienkiewicz
$13.45 (Save $1.50)
[Paperback] Hippocrene Books (1997)
Sienkiewicz's 1896 masterpiece served as the basis for MGM's monumental epic motion picture in 1951. Sienkiewicz writes of Marcus Vinicius, a Roman officer in Nero's army, who risks his career, his family, even his life, when he falls in love with a Christian woman named Callina Lygia.
Restless Flame: A Novel About Saint Augustine
Louis De Wohl
$13.45 (Save $1.50)
[Paperback] Ignatius Press (1997)
Here is a novel that glistens with the imaginative and vivid drama that epitomized St. Augustine's tumultous life, presented with a master story-teller's characteristic flair for graphic description, sensitive portraiture, and fascinating historical lore.
Louis De Wohl
$13.45 (Save $1.50)
[Paperback] Ignatius Press (1998)
François Mauriac
$11.65 (Save $1.30)
[Paperback] Penguin (1995)
Time Before You Die: A Novel of the Reformation
Lucy Beckett
[Paperback] Ignatius Press (1999)
This historical novel tells the moving story of the monks and nuns persecuted under Henry VIII, focusing mainly on a Carthusian, Robert Fletcher. The story of this strong, vulnerable man is told in counterpoint with that of one of the most interesting men in English history, Reginald Pole, a nobleman, scholar and Cardinal.
Weakling and the Enemy
François Mauriac
$17.10 (Save $1.90)
[Paperback] (1951)
Windswept House: A Vatican Novel
Malachi Martin
$13.45 (Save $1.50)
[Hardback] Doubleday (1998)
The Cold War has ended. With a scope and daring not possible until now, an unlikely international alliance of top-level political, financial, and religious interests sees the way clear at last to its ultimate final goal: the establishment of a single global society.

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