history does matter

. . . But history does matter. There is a line connecting the Armenians and the Jews and the Cambodians and the Serbs and the Rwandans. There are obviously more, but really how much genocide can one sentence handle? You get the point.

– excerpt from Chris Bohjalian’s novel The Sandcastle Girls


I’m continually surprised

by Chris Bohjalian’s writing – and Secrets of Eden “proves once again that he is a master novelist.”

As a minister I rarely found the entirety of a Sunday service depressing. But some mornings disease and despair seemed to permeate the congregation like floodwaters in sandbags, and the only people who stood during the moment when we shared our joys and concerns were those souls who were intimately acquainted with nursing homes, ICUs, and the nearby hospice. Concerns invariably outnumbered joys, but there were some Sundays that were absolute routs, and it would seem that the only people rising up in their pews to speak needed Prozac considerably more than they needed prayer. Or yes, than they needed me.

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