Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Cry of Stone

This year I've been reading the "Children of the Last Days" series by Michael D. O'Brien, a Canadian Catholic visual artist and writer. I started reading the series in the wrong order, starting with Eclipse of the Sun, then going to the chronological beginning of the series to read Strangers and Sojourners, followed by Plague Journal. These three should be read in order, ending with Eclipse, if you're interested.

If one is desirous of reading only one of O'Brien's novels, make it Father Elijah which is related to the chronological trilogy but can stand alone as well. It's a page-turner -- I simply couldn't put it down for the balance of suspense and religious fervor. My friend Judith is reading it now.

It took me almost three weeks at well over 800 pages, but I did finish O'Brien's fifth novel in the series, Cry of Stone. Very different from the other books, it's a meditative novel about a native Canadian woman who is physically deformed and a great artist, but her most amazing quality is her faith, especially in how her faith and art intertwine. More like Strangers and Sojourners in being character-driven rather than plot-driven, it was a remarkable book, one I heartily recommend. O'Brien's style is impeccable, deeply-moving and poetic, sensitive to the plight and mindset of Native North Americans, and not to be missed.

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