Monday, 13 October 2014

Lying Awake by Mark Salzman (2.5/5)

First published: 2002
Page count: 181

The back says: In a Carmelite monastery on the outskirts of Los Angeles, life has continued virtually unchanged for centuries. Here, Sister John of the Cross lives in the service of God. She is the only nun who experiences visions and is regarded by the others as a spiritual master.

But Sister John is also plagued by powerful headaches and when a doctor reveals that they may be dangerous, she faces a devastating choice. Is this grace merely an illness and will a 'cure' mean the end of her illuminations and a soul dry and searching?

I say: I’m not quite sure what I think of this novel because parts of the prose were beautifully written, almost lyrical, while others were bulky and slightly mundane.

The same goes for the story itself.

On the one hand I was intrigued by the choice Sister John had to make, but on the other hand I was not so happy with the resolution of the story.

It felt forced.

It is a short novel that somehow didn’t leave as big an impact as I had hoped, so 2.5/5.

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