holyfool“Time’s black rosary counts the interminable seconds.” – p 305

Although I really enjoy reading Harris’s works, I’m beginning to wonder if she has something against the Catholic church.  In the majority of the books I’ve read written by her, someone or something from the Catholic church ends up being the baddie, and the Church itself is inevitably portrayed as corrupted and judgmental.  I’m not Catholic, but I’d hope that someone who is as lovely an author as she is could branch out a little in her pool for villains.
This book, while still engaging in much magical realism, isn’t quite as engaging as some of her other works.  It tells the story of Juliette – a former wire walker (a type of acrobatic tight-rope walker) who has abandoned her old life in order to take care of her daughter.  She has chosen an out-of-the-way monastery by the ocean in order to do this and has reinvented herself as Sister Auguste.  When her past comes back to haunt her in the form of a man she once loved, Juliette must use all her wits and courage in order to save her daughter and the nuns she has come to care for.
For some reason, I couldn’t precisely enjoy this story as much as any of Harris’s others.  Juliette was interesting, and the suspense built throughout the book was extraordinary…but I never felt quite confident in what was going on.  It was as if I never felt in step with the characters.  They were there on the page for me to get to know, but I wasn’t interested in them.  The story was great, and the setting, and the characters, but it just lacked the zip to hold my interest.