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Thursday, 13 April 2006

Mariette In Ecstasy by: Ron Hansen

Mariette In Ecstasy
Ron Hansen
Harper Collins - Browse Inside
ISBN: 0060981180

This is a book by an author best know for western’s however this is not a western. It is a spiritual story and a spiritual story with a major twist. It is the retelling of the life story of Saint Terese Martin aka Terese de Lisieux. But this story is told in a generic religious order set in Quebec.

This book deals with many large questions:
The Stigmata
Faith
Healing
Love
Science

And how these five things meet in the life of Mariette with ambiguity and how that ambiguity mirrors our own lives. The interesting thing about this book is it is about the world of women, the convent is a microcosm of the real world. The only two men in the book are Mariette’s father and the priest at the Convent.

Mariette received the stigmata while a novice at the convent, the Prioress was her older sister. This is a story of faith versus adversity even in one’s own tradition. It is the story of a girl who desires to love God with all of her heart. Yet the depth of her devotion arouses the suspicions of those around her.

A film was made of this move with many big name star’s Rutger Hauer as the priest, Geraldine O'Rawe as Mariette, Mary McDonnell as the prioress. Michael W. Higgins was the Historical consultant on the film. Though filmed in 1996 it has never been released. The studio did not like the ending and the author and producer would not change it.

Dealing with many deep questions this book leave’s the reader with more questions than answers but with a sense of hope and a desire to know more. Hansen has created a masterpiece.



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