Saturday, November 6, 2010

Our Lady of the Lost and Found

Our Lady of the Lost and Found by Diane Schoemperlen is a knock-out book. It wins on almost all counts. The story revolves around a middle-aged writer who finds herself with an unexpected houseguest who plans to stay for a week. A long-lost friend? A relative barging in? No, just the Virgin Mary who has not had a vacation in 2000 years and has decided that she needs a quiet break from all the prayers, petitions, and miracles. Mary arrives in a long black dress, with a white shawl over her head and white Nikes on her feet--ready to lead a quiet life of chats over breakfast and simple shopping visits to the mall.

Over the course of the week, the unnamed writer learns a lot about Mary, her own life, truth versus fiction, and the real meaning of history. She confronts meaning in her own life and the value of faith. Faith not only in a religious sense, but faith in oneself. She learns that while it may be difficult to believe in God or all of the miracles that have been said to happen in Mary's name, it is often harder to believe in yourself. To believe in the possibilities in your life; to believe in all that you can do.

This was a knock-out book on so many levels. Well-written, with subtle humor. Probing deep questions. It took me quite a while to read this short novel, but that was only because there was so much to ponder and digest. This is a book that I know I will read again and again, because I can already see that I will take new things away from each time I do. The only reason I give this book four and a half stars and not a full five is due to the sheer number of historical Mary visitations recounted. It became a bit repetitive reading all those accounts and I think the book would have been better if the number had been cut down by at least a third, if not half. Overall, a wonderful novel that gives the reader plenty to think about and enjoy.


Marce said...

Very interesting but not sure if it is for me, i'm intrigued though.

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

This sounds smashingly different than what I would normally read -- almost a bit humorous, too? I may have to check this one out!

Diane Schoemperlen said...