All We Know of Heaven

All We Know of Heaven

Book - 2001
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This luminous, revelatory novel by a cloistered monk traces a young man's search for wisdom among the inhabitants of a Cistercian monastery of strict observance.
In 1973, Paul Seneschal, a shy nineteen-year-old from rural Manitoba, takes flight from the world behind the wrought iron gates of St. Norbert Abbey. Here he is immersed in an austere, centuries-old culture where silence and prayer are governing forces. Forty monks grow their own food, wake at three in the morning to pray, and converse largely through a spare but expressive vocabulary of hand signals. As Brother Antoine, Paul strives for wisdom and holiness, learning poverty, chastity, and obedience. But life within the cloister can't block out all of humanity's foibles. One monk lapses into pyromania; another, a French Canadian, attacks any English speaker who gets too close; still another looks like "a bald Martha Ray." Amid a daily routine that meshes worship with hard work, Brother Antoine's preconceived ideas of holiness fade as he finds himself progressing along a crooked road to enlightenment. He comes to realize that the most mundane occurrences reveal the divine at least as often as they conceal it.
In simple, beautiful prose full of striking imagery, ALL WE KNOW OF HEAVEN brings a rarefied realm where human folly nestles cheek by jowl with the divine brilliantly to life.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 2001.
ISBN: 9780618094998
0618094997
Characteristics: 226 p. ;,22 cm.

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