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Mary Gordon’s “The Love of My Youth”

posted by Donna Freitas

Mary Gordon is one of the great Catholic novelists of our time. In the vein of Walker Percy and Flannery O’Connor, she deftly weaves questions about faith, doubt, sin, and the stuff of the Catholic tradition (priests, mass, saints, among other things) into her stories and more recently, her memoirs. And now she has a new novel out! Sigh. Oh, joy.

Liesl Schillinger at The New York Times Sunday Book Review had this to say about Gordon’s newest novel (her 10th), “The Love of My Youth”:

“More subtly, though, the issues of faith that always infuse Gordon’s writing, to a greater or lesser degree, and that can sometimes weigh it down, are treated with liberating lightness in this novel. . . Emotionally engaging and smoothly flowing, “The Love of My Youth” showcases Gordon’s power to write with controlled urgency, without dissembling or exaggeration, to reveal truths that are hard to face in the unsparing light of day, but without which we could not see ourselves as we are.”

In the LA Times review, Julia M. Klein writes that, ”Gordon deftly awakens the strains of regret and desire that we too feel as we watch old loves and old selves recede,” about “The Love of My Youth.”

The New York Times has excerpted a chapter from Gordon’s novel online. You can access it here. Not to be missed!



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