I am reading the new novel by Michael O’Brien, author the Father Elijah (which if you haven’t read, get it and read it and then read his trilogy which connects back into it) and many others. A Cry of Stone was glorious, as was Island of the World.
It is the story of a man finding himself and God as he searches for his son who has been seduced into a new age cult. The tale is an odyssey and an anabasis, a prodigal son account with twists. There are tendrils into English poets such as Eliot and Hopkins and Wordsworth as well as a great deal of inspiration from Russian authors.
O’Brien writes with a strong undertone of mysticism. His works are deeply Catholic, in the sense that he writes from a Catholic worldview, not in the sense that his stories have to do with priests and bishops, etc. Ordinary people live ordinary lives, but with extraordinary responses when challenges arrive.
O’Brien also is notable for his willingness to present good as good and evil as evil, without smearing the one into the other. He may present something as beautiful in merely worldly terms, but by the time he is done with you, as a reader, you see what the difference is between that which is mired in the world (and its prince) and what is directed to heaven and the King. There is also a strong Marian thread in his books.
I have been marking passage in the book about which I thought, “I have to share that with the readers!”
So… I am a third of the way through it and it is already paying dividends for my time and attention.