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Altar Music: A Novel

Weber, Christin Lore

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ISBN 10: 0684868652 / ISBN 13: 9780684868653
Verlag: Scribner
Gebraucht Zustand: Fine Softcover
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0684868652 Fine. First edition. Quality, Value, Experience. Media Shipped in New Boxes. Buchnummer des Verkäufers BING54339

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Titel: Altar Music: A Novel

Verlag: Scribner



Auflage: 1st Edition

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Enter a Mysterious, Cloistered World Full of Passion and Regret, Where the Lines Between the Sexual, Artistic, and Religious Become Blurred.
This achingly beautiful and revelatory first novel is the story of three generations of strong-willed women and their battles to balance personal longings with the disciplines of their church: Meghan, who dismisses the priest's injunctions about sex until tragedy befalls her family; Kate, who so fears God's power to destroy that she shuts herself off from emotion completely; and, finally, Elise, whose connection to unknowable forces drives her into the most exhilarating, disillusioning, and haunting experience of her life.
Written with lyricism and emotional authenticity, Altar Music is a portrait of a nun as a young girl, an epic tale of a family both defined and divided by its religious beliefs, and a powerful story about mothers and daughters.


Christin Lore Weber's first novel explores three generations of devoutly Catholic women. Living in rural northern Minnesota in the first half of the 20th century, these sisters, daughters, and grandmothers struggle with their relationships with God, their feverishly repressed passions, their erotic memories and longings. Altar Music boasts some great sex scenes, worthy of The Best American Erotica. The only problem is that afterward the women are so repentant they shut down. Young mother Kate Pearson becomes "like porcelain under his fingers" before her husband goes to fight in World War II. "She felt how he had touched her just last night and how her flesh fought against her mind for release." Her daughter, Elise, after playing doctor with her friend Margaret, prays "Please, holy Mary, don't let God send me to hell. Please come and tell me God's not mad at me."

The expression and repression of natural sexual drives is what moves this book along. Its title refers to the piano lessons Elise takes from a once-famous concert pianist who gave it all up to marry God. (It's worth mentioning at this point that Weber entered a convent after high school and was a nun for 14 years.) Each chapter is preceded by a lesson from Sister Mary's notebooks: "Repetition is never exact. Develop nuance, subtle shading--Soul." The discipline of the piano becomes a metaphor for the attempt to tame the music of the body--to make it something pretty and recognizable, not furious and consuming. --Emily White

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