Saturday, September 20, 2008

New This Week: The Song of Jonah: A Novel by Gene Guerin

Published to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month, which began September 15th, The Song of Jonah (University of New Mexico Press) is the second novel for Denver author Gene Guerin. Guerin’s debut effort, Cottonwood Saints, won the 2006 Premio Aztlan Award for first-time Hispanic writers.

The Song of Jonah is a gentle retelling of the Jonah story against the backdrop of the contemporary Catholic church, where suspicion and accusation are frequent bedfellows.

A young priest finds himself in the middle of a mild sex scandal. In the aftermath, he is reassigned to a remote New Mexico village in a parish with a reputation for being hard on priests. But The Song of Jonah is a story of hope, of course. And redemption. And Guerin brings us there with a heady mix of magic realism, regional folklore and a good working knowledge of the political machinations of the Catholic church.

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