Lucy and Dov may be nice, but that doesn't mean they're happy. Dov's brother died in a sudden accident, and Lucy has just been dumped by her boyfriend. And Dov, a transfer student from Israel, isn't always nice. He can be argumentative and sometimes refuses to speak at all. But for most of the novel, the two of them get along so well that there's no conflict. They drink cider and eat doughnuts. They talk about poetry. The book's central dilemma is that any relationship they have will be short-lived; Dov wants to serve in the Israeli army, while Lucy has plans to go to college near her family in Chicago (With few physical descriptions, the characters seem to be more multinational than racially diverse. Dov has blue eyes, and Lucy's best friend is described as pale. Lucy's grandmother has a female partner.) Creative readers will come up with all sorts of ways to solve the problem, but in the book, even after a solution presents itself, the characters keep on arguing. Maybe they just love drama. In one scene, Dov moodily decides to go running during a tornado watch.
"Happy families may not all be alike, but they can be a little dull. Still, the characters are so well-drawn that many readers will have a very nice time in their company. (Fiction. 14-19)"
Excerpt: "Nicholson delivers a harrowing journey of faith for John Kemp, who must wrestle with realities that transcend his comfortable materialist worldview. And the author does this, always, with a smile. The book has some unutterably funny parts. A brilliant old Dominican who has gone slightly dotty. A blossoming romance between the domestic staff. And always the spot-on, sarcastic commentary of John Kemp, delivered by Nicholson with undead-pan humor. It's a novel you'll give up sleep to read, and it's well worth sinking your teeth into."
(10/24) The Stream posted Eleanor Bourg Nicholson's op-ed, "Don't Let Your Daughters Date Vampires"
(10/31) Interview scheduled with
Wake Up!; live phone interview, 8:48 am (ET).
Excerpt: "Building the Benedict Option might have read as a rather obvious screed to prior generations, but it seems today as exactly the sort of advice necessary to those of us who are ready to push back against our lonely inheritance. An accessible volume for any reader, Libresco's endeavor manages to pair Martha Stewart with Catherine of Siena and offers an excellent reflection on how to live as a sign of contradiction in an increasingly unstable civilization."
In our current intellectual climate, in which irony is generally misread as malignity, true wit is dangerous to anybody, a priest especially. Father Rutler's wit is keen indeed, and it can be sharp. But, like Chesterton's, it has a smile behind it, though not GKC's belly laugh: as in his reference to 'the animus of some aging liturgists who thought that the Second Vatican Council defined a whole new anthropological stage in the history of man.' In considering the unwise haste with which that Council conducted itself, he observes that 'One problem in the frantic rush for deadlines was the inconvenience of the Italian postal system.' And adds, reassuringly, 'There will never be another ecumenical council without email.'"