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A Trace of Saint Francis

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While growing up in Irish Catholic Boston in the 1960's, the Malone children struggle to evade the overwhelming threats in their neighborhood. They are encouraged when Saint Francis arrives from a faraway place, inserting himself into their family, and beginning the process of routing the community of the priests and other abusers; while re-establishing a sense of hope, sp While growing up in Irish Catholic Boston in the 1960's, the Malone children struggle to evade the overwhelming threats in their neighborhood. They are encouraged when Saint Francis arrives from a faraway place, inserting himself into their family, and beginning the process of routing the community of the priests and other abusers; while re-establishing a sense of hope, spirituality, and Christianity.


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While growing up in Irish Catholic Boston in the 1960's, the Malone children struggle to evade the overwhelming threats in their neighborhood. They are encouraged when Saint Francis arrives from a faraway place, inserting himself into their family, and beginning the process of routing the community of the priests and other abusers; while re-establishing a sense of hope, sp While growing up in Irish Catholic Boston in the 1960's, the Malone children struggle to evade the overwhelming threats in their neighborhood. They are encouraged when Saint Francis arrives from a faraway place, inserting himself into their family, and beginning the process of routing the community of the priests and other abusers; while re-establishing a sense of hope, spirituality, and Christianity.

33 review for A Trace of Saint Francis

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shrink

    Unique novel describing Catholic Church scandal of 1960's from perspective of victims and abusers. There is aspect of fantasy as well as gritty reality. Actions of abusers seem indefensible but the author looks for other solutions to deal with trauma; much of that falls on shoulders of children, family members and other victims. Great read! Unique novel describing Catholic Church scandal of 1960's from perspective of victims and abusers. There is aspect of fantasy as well as gritty reality. Actions of abusers seem indefensible but the author looks for other solutions to deal with trauma; much of that falls on shoulders of children, family members and other victims. Great read!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Davis

    The story of systematic victimization and flagrant abuse of power by Catholic priests, abetted by a stupefied, self-loathing community, is not a new one. In this tale, however, Moriarty uses a form of magical realism to insert divinity and grace into the horrific childhoods of the Malone brothers. They are surviving, just barely, on the strength of their filial bonds and on the whiffs of inspiration from their tragically unrealized father, when Francis arrives with oddly unquestioned supernatura The story of systematic victimization and flagrant abuse of power by Catholic priests, abetted by a stupefied, self-loathing community, is not a new one. In this tale, however, Moriarty uses a form of magical realism to insert divinity and grace into the horrific childhoods of the Malone brothers. They are surviving, just barely, on the strength of their filial bonds and on the whiffs of inspiration from their tragically unrealized father, when Francis arrives with oddly unquestioned supernatural powers and healing abilities. One feels the urgency of the need for rescue for these boys and the power of belief in and acceptance of a greater power as a realization of every child's fantasy of rescue from a hopeless situation. It's what the Catholic Church promises, but only St. Francis and his Mission delivers.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tammy Bottner

    I really enjoyed this fresh and original novel. The time is the 1960's, and the place is West Roxbury, an area of Boston where families are large, and the Catholic Church is entwined into children's lives - with disastrous consequences. The author manages to convey the secret darkness of those times, and the desperation of the child victims, as well as the quiet inward-turning despair of their parents, like the father, "the doctor", who nightly lulls himself to sleep in the bath tub by drinking I really enjoyed this fresh and original novel. The time is the 1960's, and the place is West Roxbury, an area of Boston where families are large, and the Catholic Church is entwined into children's lives - with disastrous consequences. The author manages to convey the secret darkness of those times, and the desperation of the child victims, as well as the quiet inward-turning despair of their parents, like the father, "the doctor", who nightly lulls himself to sleep in the bath tub by drinking until he passes out. What I really loved, though, was the use of fantasy (Francis is a sort of angel, sent by a mysterious powerful organization, The Mission, to save the community) which injects hope into the situation. With it's powerful subject-matter and mesmerizing prose, this book is a must read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    JTR75

    This is a creative look at the impact trauma can have on many generations of a family and a community, and more. The author writes in an easy manner, allowing the reader to feel the despair of the characters and at the same time a promise of hope. I loved the addition of fantasy, which makes this a more unique read than most stories about this subject. A real trauma informed piece. Great to read a book that highlights the depth of the impact of abuse on families and also emphasizes resilience.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    This is a wonderful book. It exposes the corruption and abuse of the catholic church as it also allows the reader to feel the vulnerability of the Malone family as they experience this abuse first hand. The fantasy aspect of the book adds hope and a spirit of redemption and allows the reader to have faith in a savior in the form of Francis and a few other interesting and compassionate characters. The author beautifully portrays the characters flawed humanness hand in hand with their other worldl This is a wonderful book. It exposes the corruption and abuse of the catholic church as it also allows the reader to feel the vulnerability of the Malone family as they experience this abuse first hand. The fantasy aspect of the book adds hope and a spirit of redemption and allows the reader to have faith in a savior in the form of Francis and a few other interesting and compassionate characters. The author beautifully portrays the characters flawed humanness hand in hand with their other worldly Saintliness. Moriarity writes about the collective and intergenerational trauma that impacts so many on so many levels (institutional, personal, familial) and uses a strengths based approach to their healing. A must read!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Janet Haste

    A thoroughly entertaining read, different however enthralling.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lucianna Wolfstone

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lynette Murphy

  9. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Guillou

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  11. 4 out of 5

    Victor

  12. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  13. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gazmend Kryeziu

  15. 5 out of 5

    Melly Mel

  16. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Reader

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Hoban

  19. 5 out of 5

    Susan Cousins

  20. 5 out of 5

    Betty

  21. 5 out of 5

    Wanda C

  22. 4 out of 5

    Janet Lexow

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ronald Smith

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mary Brown

  27. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Muscat

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Piper

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  30. 5 out of 5

    Debee Sue

  31. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

  32. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Miller

  33. 5 out of 5

    Katharine Adams

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