Originally published as A Question of Integrity, this novel tells the story of Alice, Shy, dumpy and unhappy with herself, she wanders the City of London one lunch hour and stumbles without warning into a situation which will revolutionise her life. Brought up by a strict maiden aunt devoted to rationalism, Alice hardly foresees that she'll be drawn into the mysterious world of a healing centre based at a church and its offbeat but very human inhabitants who struggle to help others survive the maelstrom of modern life. There's Lewis, the irascible traditionalist, a priest of the old school who has problems dealing with women, homosexuals and the liberal spirit of the age; Rosalind, who appears so glamorous and successful but is in truth unhappy and unfulfilled; Francie, a woman who may or may not be deluded but who burns above all to be loved; Stacy, the naive young trainee searching for the right direction as he becomes increasingly lost; and finally Nicholas, the one-time shady wonder-worker now determined to stay honest - even as he finds himself drawn towards danger, damage and demoralisation.
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Three years before The Wonder Worker was released, in the afterword of the sixth installment in her Starbridge set of ecclesiastical novels, Susan Howatch dashed her fans' dreams. Absolute Truths was to be her last intellectual surplice-ripper. Did this mean we would be left forever wondering whether megacharismatic Nicholas Darrow would find a way to meld his psychic talents and his religious calling? What about his sidekick and mentor, Lewis Hall--would he ever manage to control his substantial earthly appetites? And what of gifted substance-abuser Venetia Hoffenberg? Would she be forever denied the literary chance to just say no? Luckily for us, all three are back in Howatch's latest, serious sacerdotal romp. But The Wonder Worker plays out nowhere near Starbridge's great cathedral and is not even indirectly about Anglican power struggles or traditions. It is set instead in St. Benet's-by-the-Wall, a small church and healing center in London's inner city. The book does, however, feature all of the author's strengths: vivid characterization, scenes of flamboyant and unorthodox religious power, and emotionally exhilarating personal encounters. Nicholas Darrow is back, not as chief narrator, but seen through three sets of eyes: those of Alice, a young woman who seems to see him more clearly than anyone save his mentor; Lewis; and his disillusioned wife, Rosalind. Nicholas's own viewpoint reveals his life and job as healer extraordinaire swinging out of control. In addition to the pleasures of the multiple viewpoints, there are the usual (i.e. unusual) pleasures of watching Howatch make the spiritual flesh. Though she has often been compared to Anthony Trollope, one astute reviewer has termed her "the love child of Graham Greene and Iris Murdoch." Other writers might approach her talent, but few would dare follow up a scene in which Nicholas hypnotizes his wife into sex with an even more exciting one in which he is called to order by his spiritual adviser, a nun!From the Inside Flap:
Young, lonely, and insecure, Alice Fletcher is on the verge of emotional collapse when she stumbles into St. Benet's Church to dodge the London drizzle. There, she witnesses a group of gifted healers led by the charismatic Nicholas Darrow. Gaining refuge at last, Alice is drawn--inexorably, seductively--into the complex network of relationships at St. Benet's healing center--as she falls immediately, dangerously, in love with Darrow himself.
Yet Darrow and his cutting-edge clergy are not all what they seem. And while Nicholas's dazzling powers now threaten to ruin all he attempts to save--including his own disturbed marriage--Alice's devotion to him deepens. Then a devastating tragedy transports her to the shocking center of truth. Yet fueled by her love for Nicholas and a boldly emerging intuition, she will hold together the lives spinning wildly out of control--as she herself is transformed forever.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Descripción Time Warner Paperbacks, 2004. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 751535702
Descripción Time Warner Paperbacks, 2004. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 0751535702