By Megan Harlan
Updated April 09, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

Evensong

type
  • Book
genre

A young female Episcopal priest narrates Godwin’s lush, ruminative sequel to Father Melancholy’s Daughter. One Advent season, Margaret Bonner’s ingenuity as a religious leader gets seriously tested. Her parish, in a picture-perfect Smoky Mountain town, is experiencing social discord, and her husband has fallen into a depression. Even more troubling is the arrival of three strangers — Grace Munger, a fundamentalist organizing a millennial ”Jesus parade”; rebellious teenager Chase Zorn; and Tony, an elderly vagabond monk — each of whom bears a disturbing secret. While Godwin’s overly schematic plot in Evensong devolves into an unlikely Armageddon, the dramatic excesses are redeemed by Margaret’s candid grapplings with the relevance of spirituality in contemporary lives — including her own. B

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Evensong

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