Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Saint Training, by Elizabeth Fixmer
Mary Clare is part of a large, Irish Catholic family. And despite the fact that the family is big, and money is very tight, her mother is going to have another baby. Mary Clare decides the best way to improve her family's situation is to become a saint. This proves to be tougher than she anticipated, so she begins a correspondence with a Mother Superior.
Often, when I get a retailer is having a book promotion where the book is free, even for a limited time, I go into it with low expectations, and usually, I am still disappointed. This book, however, made up for every single one of those disappointments. I absolutely loved this book! Set in the 1960's, against the tumultuous backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement and Vatican II changes in the Catholic Church, I found this book to be, at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, profound.
Having grown up in a Catholic family, I fully appreciated the humor surrounding the faith of Mary Clare. I love the letter correspondence between her and the Mother Superior. Most good Catholic girls at one point consider a religious vocation, and when they chose instead to pursue a lay life, there can be tremendous guilt involved. I love that Mary Clare takes takes this particular journey and is no worse for the wear.
I found the characters in this book very endearing, and I like that we as readers see the world through a child's eyes. It seems as though she can make no more sense of the world in which she lives than the adults can. I really liked the historical setting, and seeing how it impacted the lives of the characters.
All in all, I really can find no complaint with this book. I think many readers will enjoy it, and fellow Catholics will especially relate and enjoy.
This book is from my personal library.
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