Blue Hope: A Novella

Overview

"Death will come like a thief in the night. That's how my depressions arrive; they descend without warning and usually in the middle of the nipht when I'm lying alone in bed. The first sign is a rapid heartbeat...then the sweats, so profuse I must wear a towel draped around my neck. I go through several towels nightly."

So John Highet describes his latest bout with a crippling, lifelong depression. Even the verse of Ethan Seegard, his favorite poet, now fails to Qffer its usual solace. In a desperate attempt to ...

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Orleans, Massachusetts, U.S.A. 2002 Soft Cover New 5 1/2 x 8. A new book with minor shelfwear. A man describes his latest bout with a crippling, lifelong depression. In an ... attempt to lift his spirits, he retreats to an abbey to write a biography of his favorite poet. Read more Show Less

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Overview

"Death will come like a thief in the night. That's how my depressions arrive; they descend without warning and usually in the middle of the nipht when I'm lying alone in bed. The first sign is a rapid heartbeat...then the sweats, so profuse I must wear a towel draped around my neck. I go through several towels nightly."

So John Highet describes his latest bout with a crippling, lifelong depression. Even the verse of Ethan Seegard, his favorite poet, now fails to Qffer its usual solace. In a desperate attempt to lift his spirits, Highet's friend Paula Young encourages him to write the definitive biography of Seegord, now a redusive monk at New Rievoulx Abbey. Reluctantly intrigued, Highet books a retreat at the abbey — emborking on a lourney that will not only challenge his well-trained intellect, but open his eyes to the world of the spirit. A haunting and soul-lifting novella, Blue Hope reawakens us to the transforming power of the written word and the restorative grace of beauty, silence, and, ultimately, love.

Author Biography: ROBERT WALDRON is the author of five books, including Thomas Merton in Search of His Saul, which is required reading at several universities. He is published regularly in literary and religious lournals, and is a frequent lecturer and retreat director. Waldron lives in Boston, where he has taught at Boston Latin School for 33 years.

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Editorial Reviews

Daniel B. Smith
. . .spiritual, contemplative novella. . .illustrates the source of depression and despondency. . .
Boston Sunday Globe
John Hart
Waldron's book is joy-filled and full of hope!
Boston Pilot
Laurie Marcello
. . . An inspirational and spiritual novella that. . . explores the dark contours of depression and enlightenment of the human spirit.
West Roxbury Transcript
Publishers Weekly
In its first attempt at literary fiction, Paraclete Press offers this brief and uneven novella in which an academic's battle with depression reveals the redemptive power of God. "Death will come like a thief in the night. That's how my depressions arrive...." Thus professor John Highet begins this first-person narrative of his journey from darkness to light. Highet is convinced that the only thing that will pull him from the brink of suicide is to find the renowned poet Ethan Seegard and persuade Seegard to let him write his authorized biography. He rather implausibly rouses himself from his depression to track down Seegard at the New Rievaulx Abbey in New Hampshire, where the poet has gone into seclusion and become a priest. As Highet, an agnostic, interacts with Seegard and others at the abbey, he discovers the hope he needs to go on living and considers the possibility of faith. Waldron crafts some superb phrases and includes a beautiful two-page description of the healing relationship between prayer and depression. However, the story is marred by awkward sentences and excessive use of adjectives. Characters experience too many diverse emotions too rapidly, and Waldron often rushes to summarize scenes for the reader, rather than letting them unfold naturally on their own. There's much undeveloped potential here, and the reader feels a vague dissatisfaction over its failure to materialize. But even with the novella's imperfections, Waldron's depth of insight makes him an author to watch. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Joanne Maynard
. . . the reader might mistake it for an autobiography, it seems so real. . .
The Episcopal Evangel
Library Journal
. . . prose that is at once spare and breathtakingly lyrical. . . a welcome addition. . .
Library Journal
"Death will come like a thief in the night. That's how my depressions arrive," says narrator John Highet, a professor of English. His lifelong blues have reached their lowest point yet, and suicide is beginning to feel like a lover waiting with open arms. At the urging of his girlfriend, Highet pursues his ambtion to write the definitive biography of Ethan Seegard, his favorite poet and the subject of one of his previous books. Seegard vanished into the New Rievaulx Abbey over a decade ago, and, spurred by the thought of unearthing unpublished poetry, Highet books a week-long retreat at the abbey. He soon finds that his perceptions of the poet, himself, and the monastic life are wrong. While getting closer to the truth about Seegard, Highet takes tentative steps on the road back to faith in God. Waldron (Thomas Merton in Search of His Soul) writes with prose that is at once spare and breathtakingly lyrical. His interpretation of a journey to faith is a welcome addition to most collections, appealing to the more literary-minded. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557252906
  • Publisher: Paraclete Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2002
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.41 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.42 (d)

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