Tuesday 15 September 2020

The Woman in the Trees - Theoni Bell

The Woman in the Trees 
A novel about America's first approved Marian apparition
ISBN 9798665546919

This was an amazing novel for many reasons. First it is the debut novel from the pen of Theoni Bell, and if it any indication we are in for some amazing stories. Second it was a story I was unaware of. It is a Marian apparition that I was hardly aware of and the way the story is presented in this novel is incredible. I read this book in one sitting, I could not put it down, and I stayed up much too late reading. I have a few contemporary Catholic authors that I cannot wait for them to release another book so I can read it. Theoni was added to that list based on the power of this story! 

Last year I read a book about Our Lady of Good Help by Father Edward Looney Our Lady of Good Help: Prayer Book for Pilgrims. And loved the prayers. This novel brings it to life in a very powerful way. This novel gives us much of the background and a very personal way. This historical fiction novel follows Slainie a Belgium immigrant in the 1800’s. It follows her immigration, her travels across America and her struggles with faith and family. It is a deeply moving story. 

As we find out about the Woman in the Trees and the mysterious seer. We follow Slainie and her family. He fathers embracing the apparitions, and her mother’s resistance and confrontational nature. The characters are masterfully written. The story will grab you and not let you go. 

This book would be an excellent read for a book club, youth group, or classroom. It could also be read and discussed as a family. Reading this book really made me think of my impact upon my children and their faith. About how much a parent’s actions can either help or hinder our children and their spiritual life. The book inspired me to pray in a new way for my own children, and their relationship with Our Lady. 

This is an excellent read for tweens, teens and adults. I can honestly say this is one of the best debut novels I have read in the last few years. I highly recommend this book!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

1 comment:

Cassandra said...

Hello, Steven! I enjoyed reading your review of The Woman in the Trees on Goodreads, which brought me to your blog. It is very impressive! I am amazed at the extent of your reading! My husband and I just published a Catholic fiction novel called In the Shadows of Freedom. It's a dystopian novel that follows a young woman's spiritual journey in a society that places extreme emphasis on freedom of the individual. Some of the themes include supernatural warfare, motherhood (both earthly and that of our Blessed Mother), and forgiveness. Would you be interested in reading and reviewing our book? You can learn more at www.spellmanbooks.com! I also blog about literature at www.cassandraspellman.com. Thanks so much!