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I'm really surprised that this book is still sitting on my bookshelf. It's a wonderful, page-turner of a book. I have lots of books on my bookshelf but this is the one I would rate most highly.
Hallowell describes the line where the wish to believe in a divine presence crosses over into holy madness and the conviction that the wish has been fulfilled. Chester says, after noticing the strong fragrance of roses emanating from Francesca when she "appears" to him: "The smell of roses, the velvety ache of them, lured me in…I am no newcomer to strangeness... It's my curse and my blessing that I can smell things that other people can't... Anger coming off a person is an acrid, mustardy thing... and lying has a cloying, soapy small that makes my mouth pleat." He is not surprised that he is the first to know that Francesca is a Blessed Virgin, carrying a Savior.