This Easter, I am re-reading a favourite book. It's called "Father Elijah", and it's written by Michael D. O'brien.
This book is unique in my library in that I've read it several times. I cannot think of another book I have read as I've read this one! I think this reading is the fifth for me.
Fr. Elijah is a large book. It is subtitled "An Apocalypse". It is the artist's vision of the end of the world.
Having read this book as often as I have, I'm quite familiar with the plot. This is allowing me to pick up deeper meanings, I think.
It has struck me a bit funny that there are things I'm noticing now that did not have the same impact before. When O'brien talks about Jakov "the giant" I can form a much better picture now that I've been to the Balkans and have seen what men in the area tend to look like.
Reading the description, early on in the book, of the prior of Elijah's monastery, I think he's somehow talking about Pope Benedict!
Mr. O'brien is a very descriptive writer. Mental images abound. I have been told by those who have been there, that his descriptions of the Vatican are those of one who has experienced it and observed keenly.
This is a book entirely influenced by Roman Catholicism. The view of the end times, the importance of prayer and religious events to the plot, as well as the majority of characters being clergy...you can't help but learn something about the Church and its functioning.
It is a hopeful book. We see tribulation but we also see the strength of those who believe in a life beyond it all.
It is highly recommended!