Wednesday 8 December 2021

A Saint in the Family - Corinna Turner - An I Am Margaret Collection

A Saint in the Family
An I Am Margaret Collection
Corinna Turner
UnSeen Books an Imprint of
Zephyr Publishing
ISBN 9781910806869
eISBN 9781910806876

In the last six years I have read a publication by Corinna Turner exactly 50 times, not counting her contributions to the three Catholic Teen Books anthologies. And one of the stories here appeared in one of those anthologies. So I have read books, novellas and shorty stories by Turner over 60 times now. And I am always excited when I find out that something new is being released. The I Am Margaret book and series is a magnificent piece of fiction, and a warning. And it is dystopian at its absolute best. 

I have been thinking about this volume a lot over the last several days. It is a very powerful collection. It brought me to tears. I have been married for 18 years and my wife has only seen me cry a handful of times. I do not produce a lot of tears, This volume brought me to tears more than once. 

While reading these stories I was also reading a biography of Saint Isaac Jogues, he actually had his thumb bit off by Native Americans while he was a captive. He went more than 18 months without being able to say mass. But he received special papal permission, a dispensation, to say mass not in the normal way, because of his hands. And this reminds me of pieces of The Siege Of Reginald Hill and a few of these stories that take place after that volume. 
The stories in this collection are:
The Underappreciated Virtues of Green-fingered Monsters
Birthday Secrets
An Unexpected Guest: A Novella
A Saint in the Family: A Novella
True to Form
Persistence: A Novella
An Unlikely Comforter

I had read about half of the stories prior to reading this collection. The stories are very moving, especially the alternate version. This story, Persistence, had the deepest impact on me. I have really struggled to forgive my mother. And it was almost 8 years after she passed before I had masses said for her. It was a book by Theresa Linden, Tortured Soul, which softened my heart, and started a healing process. And the story Persistence has softened it a lot more. And I am certain God will use these stories to touch the hearts of all who read them.

At the end of each piece in the collection we are informed how the story came about or what inspired it. C.S. Lewis in On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature stated: "It is very rarely that a middle-aged man finds an author who gives him, what he knew so often in his teens and twenties, the sense of having opened a new door."  And this book does just that! Both Lewis and Tolkien wrote about story as truth. And the best stories do not just entertain, they impact us after we have finished reading them. This is one of those books. It is a book that will stay with us, it will inspire us, and it will likely change us. 

The stories in this collection are deeply moving. They are fiction, and faith based fiction. But they present what might be. This is an excellent addition to the I Am Margaret series, they are strong enough to stand on their own, but when read with the rest of the books in the series it is a story spanning decades. They are stories about faith, family both biological and chosen, and about friendship. Catholic fiction at its best. This is a masterfully written collection from the pen of Turner! 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! 

Books by Corinna Turner:
I Am Margaret Series:
0.0 The Underappreciated Virtues of Rusty Old Bicycles (A prequel)
0.5 Brothers (Prequel)
1.0 I Am Margaret
1.5 How Snakey Got His Name (Short Story)
2.0 The Three Most Wanted
3.0 Liberation
4.0 Bane's Eyes

5.0 Margo's (Attempted) Diary & Notebook
5.5 An Unexpected Guest
6.0 The Siege of Reginald Hill
6.5 Buttons (Short Story)
7.0 A Saint in the Family
I Am Margaret The Play - Fiorella de Maria

Yesterday and Tomorrow Series:

Tomorrow's Dead

unSPARKed Series:

Mandy Lamb Series:
Mandy Lamb and the Full Moon

Contributed to:
Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories - Catholic Teen Books
Gifts Visible & Invisible 8 Christmas Stories for Teens
Treasures: Visible & Invisible 8 Stories for Teens

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