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Read or Download Forgiveness 4 You: A Novel ebook

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by Ann Bauer

Product Details

The Overlook Press
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years



At once a brilliant satire set in the world of advertising and a serious reckoning with religion, the remarkable new novel by the author of The Forever Marriage

Forgiveness 4 You is a startlingly contemporary novel about faith and religion in an America addicted to quick fixes and instant gratification.
Gabriel McKenna is an ex-Catholic priest, and with his quiet job at a quiet bookstore, he is—slowly—rebuilding his life. But even at the bookstore, people from all walks of life find their way to him and feel compelled to share their stories and reveal to him their deepest, guiltiest secrets.
One of these people is Madeline Murray, a high-powered advertising executive, who, hours after her weepy confession, has a revelation: If she felt so comforted by this stranger, perhaps there’s something remunerative to his consoling abilities.
Madeline has a vision: a business that will offer a secu­lar form of confession and forgiveness—the comforts of religion, without the religion. Without knowing exactly how it happened (and whether any of it is morally sound) Gabriel is transformed by Madeline and her colleagues into the centerpiece of the forgiveness brand. And so a therapeutic revolution unleashes itself on America—or is about to, until a terrible secret threatens to torpedo the business and the man at the middle of it. Which would all be bad enough, were it not for temptation—in the form of Madeline herself.
In Forgiveness 4 You, Ann Bauer combines her gift for characterization with a broad American canvas to dazzling effect. Written with verve and confidence, Forgiveness 4 You is an unusually ambitious novel that blends cutting-edge satire with a serious mediation on faith in the twenty-first century.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Former Catholic priest Gabriel McKenna is working in a bookstore when advertising executive Madeline Murray walks in. Like most people who meet him, she feels compelled to confess her sins. When Gabe helps her come to terms with her guilt, she decides that he has a natural talent for absolution, and thinks of a brilliant marketing scheme—forgiveness for hire—but is unaware that Gabe's own hidden sins might implicate the business. Gabe's first-person narrative is interspersed with the electronic missives of Madeline's staff and their particularly delightful "marketing" material (sample tagline: "Expert Exonerations for Everyday Sins"). Bauer (Forever Marriage) has hit upon a thought-provoking concept: Can confession and absolution function in a non-religious setting? Can absolution be purchased and, if so, from whom? But though the concept itself reaches towards the literary, the novel reads more like the steamy romances Gabe sells at the bookstore. Creative takes on confession and forgiveness (quoting everything from Oscar Wilde to, of course, the Bible) drown in unbelievable and cliché-filled prose. The great idea and solid plot wish for better writing quality to match. (Mar.)

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