When I saw the call out for submissions for this anthology I got so excited! I wished I could contribute, but none of my short stories seemed appropriate. So I decided I needed to read it as soon as it came out. And I was really, really excited when Ellen Gable agreed to give me a free copy to review!
It was not disappointing in the least. This anthology covers many aspects of St. John Paul II’s significant work, and often from different perspectives. It is a mix of poetry and short stories. Most of the short stories are straight fiction, but one is sci-fi and another is hard-boiled detective mystery. Some of the perspectives are very unique, highlighting various parts of the human condition:the humanity of a priest, the terror of a girl facing an unplanned pregnancy, a person in mourning, people facing inconvenient truths…
This book includes a number of very talented Catholic authors, a few I had heard of, others I will be looking up after reading this.
This book definitely illustrates the idea found in quotes such as this:
Fiction is the way through which we can capture imaginations. You can better illuminate complicated ideas through stories. All of these stories will capture your imagination and give your brain more to chew on days after putting the book down. These stories and poems are examples of literature that needs to become more mainstream. Only then can we hope to really develop a culture of life.
If I was to make any complaints, I would only have two: 1) I think that the darker stories could have been broken up more with the lighter stories. Some nights when I was reading this, it felt like I got two or three really dark stories in a row. 2) This book concentrated on the more traditional aspects of Theology of the Body, namely anything involving sex, marriage, and beginning and end of life issues. Some work has been done by theologians, Susan Windley-Daoust comes to mind, to extend his theology to other aspects of being human. Maybe this could be an idea for a sequel? Maybe I can find something to contribute next time?
I did get this book for free in exchange for an honest review. I’m looking forward to reviewing more Full Quiver Publishing books. I already have a few on my Kindle.