Monday, September 27, 2010
Review of Rachel's Contrition by Michelle Buckman
After her daughter’s sudden death, demons from Rachel’s past cause her to lose her husband, her son, and even a place to live.
As Rachel drifts ever closer to insanity — and perhaps oblivion — help arrives from two unlikely sources: a tattered Holy Card depicting Thérèse of Lisieux and Lilly, a troubled teenager battling demons greater even than Rachel’s.
As Rachel grows closer to Lilly — and to Thérèse — unbidden memories reveal fearful mysteries of seduction, madness, and murder.
And a truth that will haunt Rachel forever . . . but enable her fnally to be healed.
I've been impressed with Michelle's work since I got to review Maggie Come Lately. Michelle has a wonderful style that is simple yet profound, characters that you can believe live right next door, and stories that grab you even when the genre isn't your favorite.
I read Rachel's Contrition in the airport, which probably wasn't such a good idea, as I kept having to stop to wipe my eyes. Any mother--possibly every woman--could emphasize with Rachel's pain. I'm not sure how any mother who lost a child to accident could ever read it without bawling, but I can tell you this: they will be tears of healing.
There is a lot of Catholic imagery and culture, which makes it especially wonderful for Catholic readers, but you don't need to follow that faith to understand that her struggle was spiritual as well as mental, and that her healing followed the same path.
This is Michelle's best work yet. I'm so excited to see what comes next!
Purchase from Sophia Institute Press.