Stealing Fatima: A Novelby Frank X. Gaspar
As the last light of All-Hallows’ Eve falls on a small town at the tip of Cape Cod, Father Manuel Furtado begins his nightly ritual of gin and pills, prayer, and hours spent writing feverishly in his ledger. With the deep luxury of the chemicals in his body, he copies passages from Saint Augustine and Martin Heidegger, disciplined in his desire to flesh out
As the last light of All-Hallows’ Eve falls on a small town at the tip of Cape Cod, Father Manuel Furtado begins his nightly ritual of gin and pills, prayer, and hours spent writing feverishly in his ledger. With the deep luxury of the chemicals in his body, he copies passages from Saint Augustine and Martin Heidegger, disciplined in his desire to flesh out his ever-building demons.
But, unlike his usual uninterrupted reflection, this night there is a crash, sudden enough to pull Father Manny from the rectory and toward his church, Our Lady of Fatima. He finds a man there his childhood friend Sarafino, whom he has not seen in decades frail with illness and desperate to tell the priest about his recurring visits from the Virgin Mary. Despite Father Manny’s grave doubts about Sarafino and his visions, he lets his old friend into his home and his life, and this single act ignites a series of events that challenge the faith of this fishing village, the parish, and of Father Manny himself.
Striking and lovingly detailed, Stealing Fatima is the story of a priest’s search for redemption in a town where, even in these modern times, the divine is possible.
- Counterpoint Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)
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Stealing Fatima is a meticulously crafted work of literary fiction. The setting, though unnamed, is obviously the Portuguese fishing village and arts colony of Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod. The primary characters are Fr. Manuel Furtado and his long absent childhood friend, Sarafino Pomba. Sarafino returns dying of AIDs. He is convinced that he has experienced visitations from Our Lady of Fatima. It quickly becomes apparent that Sarafino brings other baggage; there is an outstanding arrest warrant for him for armed robbery. An additional matter that drives the narrative to its intriguing denouement is the fact that Fr. Furtado, "Manny" to his friends, is experiencing a profound inner conflict which can be descibed atleast initially as a disturbing crisis of faith or a hopeful trend toward rationality, depending on one's perspective: But more ominously, as he labors mightily to rebuild his previously neglected and dying parish by day, Father Furtado's life is further troubleed by an alarming degree self-medication for the pain of an old neck and shoulder injury. This is the result of a plane crash while serving in the military in Vietnam. ptions. The pace of this work is slow initially, as is often the case with literary fiction (e.g. Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna), but action and gravitas increase as the reader continues. Like a master mason, Gaspar incrementally builds an artful and finely wrought edifice, one that provides a perspective on an historic and thriving immigrant community.