In 1938, fourteen-year-old John Taume is looking to escape a cold, distant father and an unwanted but predestined future. Too young to join the military, he grips his Catholic roots and chooses the seminary, surviving its strange, confusing rites of passage through his love of both the German language and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Three years later when the world breaks into war, John is recruited by the United States Army and sent to mysterious Camp-X to be trained as a spy. Stationed in Austria, the heart of the Third Reich, he struggles in secrecy to endure the horrors of the war while watching the country implode through disease, Nazi propaganda, fear, and a concentrated effort to destroy the Jewish people.
Told through the recollections of a dying man, A St. Mark Contrition is at once a story of history and human nature, filled with fearless humor, horror, and heart. There are no easy answers, only innocence, honesty, and a plea for understanding from the soul of a confused teenager forced to witness the true cost of what Robert Burns called "man's inhumanity to man."