Tuesday, October 11, 2011

{read: Do you believe in miracles?} The Unspeakable by Charles L. Calia

The plotting, character development, and pacing of this debut novel make up for the writing that could still use some editing, especially after p. 50. A priest has to investigate a friend from seminary who has lost his voice (although medical experts agree he should be able to speak) and is healing people at his Minnesota church, which has a special congregation of deaf, mute, and mentally challenged people. To complicate matters, $12,000 are missing from the nonprofit he used to lead. The story flips back and forth between the past and the present and illuminates these two priests and the circumstances that have shaped their lives.

Just when you think the story is straightforward, another twist is introduced and you see another level of complexity. Nothing is quite as it seems, and you're not even sure if you can trust the priests as they look back on their pasts. What aren't they telling us? What are they making up? What have they changed? It's a testament to the power of the story in this book that I was able to look past the editing flaws, which increase as the book goes along. These usually throw me right out of the story, but I found this book hard to put down and am looking forward to finding some more work by this author.

The Unspeakable by Charles L. Calia (William Morrow, 1998)
My rating: 4 stars

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