The Literature of Belief: Six Books of Fiction

Posted: July 19, 2018 in World On The Edge

THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE CORN: Memoirs of a Scots Irish Woman

The 2018 Independent Press Award Winner in Religion Fiction

Beginning in eighteenth century Ireland and then set against the background of a burgeoning America, The Wind That Shakes the Corn tells the story of the feistiness of Scots Irish immigrants, and the heart-held faith and courage that led their struggle toward individualism in America. Nell Dugan’s hatred, but also her love and determination, spotlights the Irish, both Protestant and Catholic, who bring to Revolutionary America age-old grudges against longtime English rule.

On Nell’s wedding night in Ireland, English soldiers abduct her from the arms of her Scottish Lord and throw her on a ship, slave-fodder for a West Indies sugar plantation. But Nell uses her beauty and cunning to seduce the plantation owner’s son who sneaks her away to pre-revolutionary Philadelphia where she agrees to marry him, keeping secret her marriage to the Scottish lord she truly loves, and swearing to pay back the English not only for her own kidnapping but also for her mother’s hanging two decades earlier.

A story of love, hate, revenge, and the ever-hovering choice to forgive.

A HUNGER IN THE HEART

Set in 1955, a young boy comes to terms with the consequences World War II has had on his family. His beloved, shell-shocked, father is a decorated hero who stages continual games of war to train his son; his bigoted, alcoholic mother blames the misfortune in her marriage on the soldier whose life her husband saved; and his manipulative grandfather stirs up trouble between mother and son, until the boy must fight a personal war just to survive. When the boy’s father is suspiciously shot and killed, his grandfather accuses his daughter-in-law, and a bitter estrangement between the boy and his mother is set in motion, tempered only by the family gardener and a neighbor girl with family problems of her own.

A story of hope and love. How we find it and thrive in even the darkest circumstances.

BRIDGE-MAN BURNING: The Sins of a Southern Man

Sequel to A Hunger in the Heart

As a boy Coleman Putttman Bridgeman III was hurt by the love he hungered for. Now as a young man, leaving his hometown behind, he carries with him the family blood that runs through his veins and voices of the past that run through his head. In marriage and business, Coleman faces love’s most powerful battles where he must confront the weakest and deepest, parts of himself. Honesty versus dishonesty, faithfulness versus betrayal, and courage versus cowardice, are all in play while the question remains: Will Coleman Puttman Bridgeman III win his war, or will he lose love forever?

SHE WHO SEES BEYOND

A New Orleans hurricane takes the life of artist Audrey Bliss’s husband, swallows any trace of their four year-old son, and dramatically changes Audrey when she suffers a head wound. She’s always been perceptive, but now she sees and hears the voices of missing people calling to be found. Soon, asked by local law enforcement to solve crimes in The Big Easy, she finds many missing people, including a girl from Birmingham, Alabama found murdered in New Orleans. Yet, she never finds her own son, and accepts he died in the hurricane. After inheriting a tiny island in the Tennessee River near Red Clay Springs, Alabama, Audrey attempts to discard her life as a seer and takes up residence in the old house to concentrate on her art. But when an unidentified boy is found dead on a pyre, her gift of seeing will not let go.

A love story …. but of a mother for her lost son, of a father for his daughter, and of a sheriff for two  young men he thinks of as his own. First in a series to come.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER

In the past few years Kaye Park Hinckley has emerged as a major talent in what Paul Elie calls “the literature of belief.” Hinckley translates grace in a world on edge, sees a double beginning and ending in everything, literally everything, including the unspeakably awful. Like her novel A Hunger in the Heart, the stories in Birds of a Feather—several of which have won substantive awards—take us to the heart of the matter.

“The short stories in Birds of a Feather are richly imagined tales full of finely drawn characters who demonstrate how people estranged from faith can bumble through life so distracted by worldly horrors and delights, so full of themselves, that they don’t even notice faint nudges of grace that stir in their souls or recognize subtle emanations of the holy that abound in the world around them.”–The Catholic World Report

MARY’S MOUNTAIN

The story of Paul Dunaway’s struggle to re-shape his affluent but joyless life, while opposing forces in the out-of-control, politically correct America he helped to create, threaten to take him down. A tale of Tolerance taken to the extreme, as patriotism and religion are deplored by those in command.

“Mary’s Mountain” follows the conversion of everyman through the character of Paul Dunaway, who is born into the Faith but loses it shamelessly through the enticements of the world: money, lust, power. Then he eventually finds his way back to God through Mary’s Mountain, his former home.

 

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