Friday, January 2, 2015

pagan babies

I'm going to miss Elmore Leonard.

I did a little web search as part of this review and came across a list of 10 essential Elmore Leonard books, and surprise, I haven't read any of them. So as a consolation prize for those of us saddened by his loss, Leonard has left a huge pile of work for us to read. He may be gone, but he's left a huge part of himself in the written word.

I've said it before; Leonard tells a story like he's telling a story. That is, the way he would tell a story verbally. Leaning against your kitchen counter, having a drink while you cook. Just shooting the breeze. That's what makes his technique so immediate, easy to read, easy to absorb. He's confiding in his readers, telling them a story that he knows the details of. Sharing it.

Pagan Babies refers to the orphans of Rwanda, where Terry Dunn serves as a priest, ministering to the converts in a small village. Fr. Dunn doesn't appear to take his duties too seriously, but that may be because of the atrocities he has witnessed during the Hutu on Tutsi genocide. But the mission is out of money, and Fr. Dunn makes a trip back to America to raise some additional funds, but his murky past is also waiting for him. A past that does care if he is a priest.

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