Month: June 2015

A Canticle for Leibowitz

A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller, Jr. (science fiction)

“In the Utah desert, Brother Frances of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz has made a miraculous discovery: the relics of the martyr Isaac Leibowitz himself, including the blessed blueprint and the sacred shopping list. They may provide a bright ray of hope in a terrifying age of darkness, a time of ignorance and genetic monsters that are the unholy aftermath of the Flame Deluge. But as the spellbinding mystery at the core of this extraordinary novel unfolds, it is the search itself—for meaning, for truth, for love—that offers hope to a humanity teetering on the edge of an abyss.”


A Canticle for Leibowitz

A Canticle for Leibowitz

Getting a glimpse of Zion from secular post-apocalyptic fiction is a difficult task; the reader is fortunate to get a glimpse of civilization in such stories. I found A Canticle for Leibowitz to be an exception. This is not a happy book, but it shows the faith of several generations of Catholic monks and their efforts to preserve the world’s knowledge and keep the light of Christ alive during very dark times. I particularly liked the way the abbot of the monastery, Dom Zerchi, in the final part of the book refuses to allow Doctor Cors, a man who writes permits allowing “hopeless cases” of radiation sickness to be euthanized by the government, to set up a “clinical testing” station in the monastery. The abbot responds with:

“Can you not, then, understand that I am subject to another law, and that it forbids me to allow you or anyone else on this property, under my rule, to counsel anyone to do what the Church calls evil?”

Continue reading

Fireweed

Fireweed, by Terry Montague (LDS historical)

When sixteen-year-old LDS girl Lisel Spann sees her brother off to fight in the coming war against what she and her German compatriots have been told is Polish aggression, she “is hardly prepared for the coming years when the storm erupts in full fury. She fights feeling of hopelessness as she watches the Nazis tear her loved ones from her life. Before her eyes her beautiful city is turned to rubble under the allied bombs.” With the help of her family and neighbors, she struggles to survive and hold on to her faith.


If Feathers and Rings is the LDS novel I keep going back to, Fireweed is the one that has stuck with me the most. For that reason, when I recently saw it on the shelf of used books at my local LDS bookstore, I bought it to re-read. When I opened it up and read in the author’s introduction that she is a descendant of Germans who lived for a century in Russia before immigrating to the United States, I felt an instant connection to her since I, too, am a descendant of the same group of people, although my ancestors settled in Kansas, not Idaho, and I didn’t grow up with a connection to the German community (aside from my mother’s stories) in Topeka the way the author did in Rupert, Idaho. I didn’t, in fact, know enough about my own family history at the time I originally read Fireweed to see the connection, but I’m so delighted to see it now! Continue reading

Cottonwood Summer and Feathers and Rings

Cottonwood Summer, by Jean Z. Liebenthal (LDS nostalgia)

“When Nola and Beverly are forbidden to participate in the lake excursion, they can’t guess that their selected alternative will provide the biggest adventure in their young lives. Nothing less than a reform school escapee, in fact!”

Feathers and Rings, by Jean Z. Liebenthal (LDS romance)

“Nola is in love with Kent—but he hardly seems to notice her. Although she manages to have an occasional good time at the Saturday-night dances with her longtime neighbor Norman, Nola fears she may become an ‘old maid.'”


As I embarked on this project to comment on novels that give me a glimpse of Zion, I felt that, despite my love for the classics, this would be an unbalanced presentation if I neglected the fiction written by members of my own religion. I thought I would re-read a few of the books in this category that I actually own. Several years ago I gave quite a few LDS novels away, needing the shelf space and knowing I wouldn’t re-read those particular works. For that reason, the books I own are ones I like a lot and have probably already re-read at least once. Continue reading

© 2017 Novaun Novels

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑