The Monk Upstairs: A Novel

Author: Tim Farrington
Type: eBook
Date Released: 2007
Format: pdf
Language: English
Page Count: 272
Isbn10 Code: 0060815167
Isbn13 Code: 9780061437892

From Publishers Weekly Gentle humor leavens the weightier themes of trust, religion and second chances in this satisfying sequel to The Monk Downstairs (2002). Tough-as-nails divorcée Rebecca Martin eases into married life with former monk and tenant Mike Christopher while she wonders just what they've gotten themselves into. Her pot-smoking ex-husband is trying to reform and be a responsible father, but his inability to follow through adds extra tension to Rebecca and Mike's newlywed life. Farrington beautifully renders the touching relationships between Mike and his young stepdaughter, Mary Martha, and his mother-in-law, Phoebe, whose mental acuity is steadily declining after a stroke in the previous novel. Mike's struggle to reconcile his contemplative nature with his new responsibilities (and Rebecca's disdain for religion) is engagingly portrayed as escapes to the attic to meditate. When Mary Martha decides she wants to attend mass with Mike, Rebecca's conflicts intensify; "It wasn't that she was opposed to God, per se. She just didn't want His damn church screwing with her daughter's head." Farrington has a knack for unusual descriptions, such as mid-week morning mass, a "wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am affair, like framing work in carpentry.... They left the interior decoration and finish work for Sundays." A poignant death scene ensures readers will reach for the Kleenex. Farrington's talent blossoms in this engaging novel. (May) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From In the sequel to The Monk Downstairs (2002), Farrington gifts readers with a rare realistic portrait of a romantic relationship between two complicated, funny, loving adults. Former monk Michael Christopher and lapsed Catholic Rebecca Martin have a fair amount of personal baggage--he has yet to find satisfying work after leaving the monastery; she has some qualms about his deep faith versus her more skeptical approach. Yet the two move beyond their personal issues, with a good deal of humor and grace, and decide to get married. After an idyllic honeymoon in Hawaii, they return to face more mundane matters, including Rebecca's difficulty in dealing with her spirited daughter's new fascination with Catholicism; her mother's physical limitations due to a recent stroke; and her lackadaisical, pot-smoking ex's seeming transformation into a responsible citizen. Through it all, Michael retains his ability, honed from years of meditation, to "step out of the traffic of the world . . . to seek the moment's deeper reality." Moving between wry humor and poignancy, Farrington takes on the big issues of faith, love, and work. Joanne WilkinsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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