Katherine Forrester Vigneras, in a continuation of her story from The Small Rain, returns to New York City from Europe to retire. Now in her seventies, she encounters an old friend from her Greenwich Village days who, it turns out, is the former Bishop of New York. He asks Katherine to give a benefit concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine ...
Katherine Forrester Vigneras, in a continuation of her story from The Small Rain, returns to New York City from Europe to retire. Now in her seventies, she encounters an old friend from her Greenwich Village days who, it turns out, is the former Bishop of New York. He asks Katherine to give a benefit concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. This leads to new demands on her resources--human, artistic, psychological, and spiritual--that are entirely unexpected.
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I read this book a few times as a young adult, and more recently as a "not so young" adult. I enjoyed it before, but this last time it seemed I picked up on a lot more. It is currently my favorite Madeline L'Engle book, and I have been a Madeleine L'Engle fan ever since reading A Wrinkle in Time in the third grade. If you love L'Engle's work you will enjoy this book. The protagonist, Katherine Forrester Vigneras, who you may have met earlier as a young person in The Small Rain, or Prelude, is now beginning retirement in New York City after her illustrious career as a concert pianist. Although she is not conventionally religious, She becomes inmeshed socially in the life of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. I was delighted to meet once again some other characters that I met years ago in other L'Engle books. Suzy Austin, of Meet the Austins, is now a doctor, married to Josiah Davidson, from the Young Unicorns. Josiah has grown up to become one of the priests at the Cathedral. The Davidsons have four children. There are other characters from her earlier novels that you will meet again, now at a later time of their lives. Newly retired, Katherine, for the first time, has time to really deal with the accumulated memories and wounds of a lifetime. This is a theme we see played out in several characters, young, middle aged and old: how do we deal will the grievious wounds we have suffered? Faith, art, music, and that process by which we put ourselves back together in spite of grievous wounds. L'Engle does a splendid job of reflecting on these issues in the context of family, community, faith, friends and the spiritual practice of music. This book is also a mystery novel and delightfully eerie as well uplifting and spiritual.
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