THE BEAUTY OF ORDINARY THINGS by Harriet Scott Chessman
"A beautiful étude of humanity. ... A song of the soul. ... It would be hard to close
this book and not feel changed." -Foreword Reviews
Back from a tour of duty in Vietnam, Benny Finn, eldest son in a large Irish-American family, strives to find his bearings amid the everyday life of 1973 New England. At a Benedictine abbey in rural New Hampshire, Sister Clare, a young novice, confronts the day-to-day realities of a cloistered existence. Linking these two is Isabel Howell, a college student soon to discover that she must chart the course of her own life in a way she could not have imagined.
Deeply felt, often luminously moving, The Beauty of Ordinary Things carries forward the promise of Harriet Scott Chessman's earlier work, revealing a writer richly aware of the range of human tragedy and tenderness.
"This quietly meditative novel touched me deeply, just as the three main characters' lives
touch each other in profound ways."
--Tiffany, Grass Roots Books & Music, Corvallis OR (Staff Pick)
"The Beauty of Ordinary Things is a soulful, tender, affecting novel, with complex, searching, sympathetic characters whose situations and plights one deeply cares about. Harriet Scott Chessman has written another wonderful book!"
--RON HANSEN, author of Mariette in Ecstasy and A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion
“Elegantly crafted … I was fully immersed … and read [it] in one sitting.” --NewPages
"Deep as a prayer...This book speaks softly, but oh how it lingers in the mind."--DEBRA DEAN, author of The Madonnas of Leningrad
"Reading The Beauty of Ordinary Things is to immerse oneself in an extended prose poem, the gift of a silent walk on a snowy day." --Lisen Stromberg, Peninsula Parlour Literary Series
"In evoking the rituals of cloistered life and the complexity of military experience, Chessman...tells a multifaceted yet graceful tale. ... Articulately render[s] the often-inchoate nature of private experience. ... Bridging the often disparate world of faith and politics, The Beauty of Ordinary Things marvelously presents us with a vision of life far from ordinary."--Wellesley Magazine
"Threads of hope and redemption, crossed with the harsh reality of war and strife ... Chessman's lyrical prose transports this story of ordinary people to heights of extraordinary beauty."--LitChat