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You asked for some Catholic fiction for Lent: Aleteia heard you!

Elizabeth Scalia - published on 02/28/17

"Rachel's Contrition" is a gripping psychological thriller, both spiritual and religious; read it here, every day in Lent

When we posted our suggested Lenten Reading for 2017, a lot of people were happy, but some asked — in the comboxes, and on social media feeds, (and even in a few pointed emails) — why none of our recommendations included fiction?

It was a good question; we’re not snobs, and certainly there are fine classic, Catholic novels that are worthy Lenten reads, but it’s also a pertinent question when we have recently written about the importance of supporting Catholic arts and letters and are eager to promote good work when we find it.

So, we heard you! And because we were remiss in not recommending any fictional work for Lenten reading, Aleteia is giving you a little dono, a little gift: Beginning today, and every day in Lent, right up to Easter Sunday, we will be featuring chapter-by-chapter installments of Michelle Buckman’s award-winning novel, Rachel’s Contrition. The title is certainly apropos of the season and the novel is a true page-turner — a psychological thriller with plenty of twists and turns, presented within a narrative that is both “spiritual” and “religious,” and bringing us a protagonist with whom it is easy to identify. From the moment we watch Rachel turn her son over to her ex-husband in the parking lot of an Applebee’s and drive away feeling like an aimless failure, we are hooked.

Michelle Buckman is a Catholic writer and editor who has lived in the Carolinas for over 30 years. She loves expressing her faith through fictional characters who strive to overcome the temptations and perils of the world. Rachel’s Contrition is the story of someone with a lot to overcome — not just temptations and perils, but recrimination, and blame, and rage, and doubt, just like most of us.

The novel, which appears at Aleteia in cooperation with the Sophia Institute, won the 2011 Catholic Arts & Letters Award. We hope you will take time each day to check in with us — perhaps while enjoying a favorite beverage — and feed your Lent through your imagination with Rachel’s Contrition, and that you’ll then check out The Aleteia Book Nook on Facebook, to discuss past chapters, find new books, and see what others are reading, as well.

The serialization of Rachel’s Contrition begins, March 1, Ash Wednesday. Sign up for our newsletter to make sure you never miss a chapter, and happy reading!

UPDATE: Find Chapter 1, HERE!

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