The Abbess of Andalusia was the first book I've read about Miss O'Connor and it has not been the last.
Lorraine V. Murray makes her observations as a Catholic. This is very important in reading Miss O'Connor, who was unabashedly Catholic in an environment that was not always sympathetic to that. I did find that at times, there was a stridency to Ms. Murray's statements about O'Connor's beliefs that was off-putting. It is possible that I felt this way because I was already seeing what was being pointed out.
What I gained from this book was a greater ability to see O'Connor's incorporation of Catholicism into her writing. Her writing is anything but subtle, generally speaking, but in writing for a general market, she had to be subtle in incorporating her spirituality.
There is room for editing in this little book. There were a couple of sentences which did not make sense, and a sentence that was repeated twice on the same page. I hope that future editions tidy that up.
I would recommend this book as a companion to anyone interested in Miss O'Connor's writing, particularly to those who are puzzled in trying to think of her as a Catholic writer. It will help the reader to gain a valuable insight into Miss O'Connor's fascinating personality and noted intellect. She faced a number of challenges which helped to shape her as a writer.
I wrote this review of The Abbess of Andalusia for the free Catholic Book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods. I receive free books for writings the reviews.