The Father’s Tale

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The Father’s Tale is the story of Alex Graham, a quiet middle-age man waiting to die. A widower with two sons, he is the owner-manager of a small town bookshop, considered by all who know him to be a “boring man, an unimportant man,” and he is contented to be so. When one of his sons disappears without explanation or any hint of where he has gone, the father begins a long journey that takes him for the first time away from his safe and orderly world. As he stumbles across the merest thread of a trail, he follows it in blind desperation and is led step by step on an odyssey that brings him to fascinating places and sometimes to frightening people and perils.

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We have not been Tested

 

You just returned from a research trip to Russia for your new novel. Did you find what you expected?

Michael O’Brien: No. I was overwhelmed by the realization that we in the West have a very limited understanding of the dynamics of what is happening in the former Soviet Union. That applies especially to the spiritual aspect of the emerging society in the Russian federation.

Could you elaborate?

O’Brien: I had gone there with a certain Western concept of post-Soviet society: a society in crisis, organized crime rising, political instability, starving people. These are definitely elements of the situation, but what most Western analysts discount is the element of grace, the fact that Russia is consecrated to the Mother of God. Russia belongs to Our Lady and she is an instrument of grace for the rebirth of the Church there. I realized that the rebirth of the faith of Catholics and Russian Orthodox is complex and cannot be reduced to simple theorems, to political and economic factors. It is a spiritual war zone, one which confuses our normal categories of analysis.

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