Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Variations by John Donatich

The Variations: A Novel
Book Description
A compelling sympathy of the faiths that fill the gap between who we set out to be and who we ultimately become.

A powerful debut novel about a priest who has lost his church, his mentor, and, most upsetting, his ability to pray. How can Father Dominic protect or guide his parish when everything he loves falls away? How can he counsel Dolores, a troubled teenager prone to emotional panic and spiritual monomania? Or James, a promising African American pianist, struggling to realize his artistic ambitions by bringing his own voice to a piece that has been played by the world's most brilliant pianists, Bach's Goldberg Variations.

Into this malaise comes Andrea, a sophisticated New York editor attracted at first by Dom's blog and then by the man himself. Dom's journey from the cloth into the secular world will offer carnal knowledge, but also something deeper, a more resistant knowledge as life fails to offer happiness or redemption. In prose both searching and muscular, John Donatich's The Variations has located the right metaphor for our spiritual crisis in this story of one man's spiritual disillusion and ache for self-knowledge.

My thoughts
Father Dominic’s mentor has passed away and this leads the priest into questioning his life; his church; his calling. With his struggles he makes the decision to leave the priesthood.

I thought that I would learn of Father Dominic’s quest to find meaning in his life, but I felt the book fell short. The characters and the situations were not enough to draw me in and feel what they were going through. Father Dominic was aching for self-knowledge but he and I did not find it in this story.

Disclosure: I received this book for review from the publisher. I received no compensation for my thoughts.
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