Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Then Came Heaven...Review
Can love survive a shattering loss?
Browerville, Minnesota, 1950: Life is just about perfect for Eddie Olczak. A man of unshakable faith, he derives intense pleasure from the life he's built. He cherishes his wife, Krystyna, their daughters, Anne and Lucy, and his job as handyman for St. Joseph's, the Catholic church that is the cornerstone of Browerville life. But when a tragic accident cuts Krystyna's life short, Eddie is sure his heart is broken forever. The love she lavished on her family, the way she combed the girls' hair, the way she greeted Eddie at the end of the day-all the precious gifts she gave are gone.
The town rallies to provide support, but there is one member of the community who is unable to express what Krystyna's loss has meant to her. Sister Regina, the girls' teacher at St. Joseph's, has always felt a special affinity for the Olczaks. But her vows prevent her from becoming too close--even in their time of need.
Sister Regina has always tried to reaffirm her commitment when the strict rules of the sisterhood chafe at her. But with time, as she and Eddie grow to know each other better--and find a connection that goes beyond their shared love of Krystyna and the girls--she faces a difficult challenge. And both of them must summon the courage to look within their own hearts and make their own choices ...
Probably my favorite of all LaVyrle Spencer's books. She has completely captured the 1950's small town America that is sheltered and nourished by the Catholic church. The idyllic time, the safe community, the devotion to faith and family.
LaVyrle also captures the grief and the sorrow of losing a beloved spouse and mother. The feelings evoked by her writing are real. Eddie is too good to be true, but a wonderful character. Sister Regina is fantastic and her metamorphosis from nun to woman is terrific. Even as she questions her vocation and makes the decision of whether or not to leave it, never is the Catholic church negatively treated. Instead, we see a real introspection of a woman who listens to the voice of God and pursues His path for her.
Truly a charming, delightful read. One I like reading again and again.
Personal copy. You can purchase your own copy here.
Last read 2/11
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