Some of the best parts of the book are found in the quiet little corners, humorous or profound asides where ordinary people are allowed their thoughts, musings or dreams. ‘Loving-Kindness’, the aging monsignor, answers and enjoys a phone call from a woman not meant for him. Readers get to peek inside a confessional—on both sides and listen to the thoughts of the penitents as well as the priest. There are several other little gems like this which shine out. They tend to be subtle and one must be a careful reader to pick up on them.
Although I would have preferred Hassler’s character’s to have more depth, I also loved the fast moving dialog, the distinct personalities, the synchronization of events and especially the harsh setting of the vast Northern landscape, which almost seems to take on a life of its own, sometimes silent, other times stormy, yet ever present.
Although initially I was intimidated by the book's size, once I got into it, I wanted it to be even thicker. Basically I didn't want it to end. Very absorbing read.
Wow this book is THICK! Ha! I must be getting old ... judging my books by size rather than by content.