A.G. Mojtabai ORDINARY TIME

ISBN 13: 9780385264167

ORDINARY TIME

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9780385264167: ORDINARY TIME
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When a mysterious stranger arrives in a Texas town that has fallen on hard times, he profoundly affects a number of residents--including a lovelorn restaurant owner, an aging priest, and a young boy

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From Publishers Weekly:

In the ordinary time of her title--in those parts of the liturgical year between the holy seasons--Mojtabai ( Blessed Assurance ) explores the ways faith is tried and practiced by residents of the Texas town of Durance, where a drifter named Val, his memory lost in a car accident, steps off a bus. Val takes a job in Henrietta's Three Square Meals restaurant, across the street from the cemetery. Henrietta, who attends the Rooftree Pentecostal Church, is a widow with a gutsy optimism and a firm, every-day kind of faith. Father Gilvary, whose parishioners at St. Jude's are old and dying, eats breakfast at Henrietta's every morning after Mass. He believes St. Jude's will become a mission when he retires, which may be soon: he has just learned he is going blind. A young man named Cleat, a foundling who has never been quite "right," develops a growing attachment to Val. The secretive Val moves through the dry summer as a kind of absence to whom Henrietta, Fr. Gilvary and Cleat respond, as Mojtabai's simple and precise prose bares the subtle daily adjustments that occur in their inner and public lives. Not much goes on in her story, but life is rendered truthfully and with grace.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

"Ordinary time," notes Father Gilvary, is "the longest, and hardest, season of the liturgical year." Especially in dusty Durance, Texas: "buried in the Dust Bowl, resurrected in the oil boom, now, fallen again on hard times." Here, Father Gilvary is experiencing a crisis of faith, going blind figuratively as well as literally. Sprightly Henrietta, who runs the Three Square Meals restaurant, is a fervent Pentecostal who can't quite commit. And Cleat, the town waif whose parentage is unknown, just drifts. Into their lives comes Val, a stranger on the run. Though the town had been waiting for something to happen, the violent outcome of Cleat's worship of Val wasn't it. The novel's unhurried pace and quiet revelations can at times make it seem ordinary, too; indeed, the stripped-down prose gives the characters little depth. Still, this is a well-wrought novel whose power grows and whose message--what we love can destroy us--is clearly rendered.
- Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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