Rougeau, Remy. All we know of heaven, a novel.

Author:Rosser, Claire
Position:Book Review - Young Adult Review - Brief Article

Houghton Mifflin, Mariner. 226p c2001. 0-618-21911-6. $13.00. SA

A Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year, praised by such authors as Kathleen Norris and Andre Dubus III, this novel by a Benedictine monk is intriguing ai first glance. We selected it for KLIATT review because it involves a young man who as a teenager in 1973 decides to enter a monastery in Manitoba. Paul is ill at ease in the world and searching for a way to give his life meaning. He enters the monastery with little faith and little understanding; over the course of the novel (about six or seven years) he learns about the monastic way of living and why he is comfortable living as a monk.

You may expect a story of anguish over sin and doubt, of self-criticism, of pleading with God for mercy, but there isn't much of that in this novel. It is a gentle story, rich with humor (much of it understated), filled with characterizations that can make you grin, and details of pastoral life that are nothing if not down to earth. One of the older...

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