Rachel’s Contrition, by Michelle Buckman, is making some waves on Amazon, rating first in women’s fiction on the Feast of the Holy Rosary this year (October 7).
There’s a reason it made number one. This is a book that not only begs a reviewer to use words like “riveting,” “powerful,” and even “awesome,” but also one that lives up to the expectations you have for it.
There’s no namby-pamby dance-around-the-issues in this book. In Rachel Winters’s struggle with her daughter’s death, which includes some severe mental issues and the loss of everything important to her, including her marriage and her son, we find a story that could be far-fetched but is, instead, close to home.
Enter the teen daughter of her landlord and friend and an improbable pull to a dead nun. In the midst of accusations and the haunting forgetfulness that Winters can’t seem to shake, there’s an undercurrent of something else.
Here’s a book with suspense, struggle, and spectacle. This is Catholic fiction at its best, in part because it is, first and foremost, great fiction. There is no shove-faith-down-your-throat feel to it, though I would not call its Catholic label incidental. Just as, for those of us living our faith in everyday life, our Catholic-ness is ingrained into the very air we breathe, this novel embodies the richness and texture of Catholicism in real life.
I was unable to put this book down, and I blame Buckman’s superb writing and flawless storytelling. Rachel Winters could be me, many days (though I hope never to live through this sequence of events).
Entertaining, riveting, powerful, and, yes, AWESOME. Not only highly recommended, but one of the books I’ll be buying for others and sharing liberally.
I received the manuscript thanks to some work I do with the Catholic Writers Guild. I was neither paid to do this review nor coerced in any way to say anything positive. I just did. And will continue to. Because this is a book you should read and share!