The Communion of the Saint

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Alan David Justice, 2007

Poor Clio – she just needs a job. She never asked for supernatural visits from Saint Alban, an early Christian saint and martyr.

Dr. Clio Griffin, a Jamaican-American history professor who is mourning the loss of her job and death of her father, takes a job as a historian for a small group in England who are hoping to promote their favorite saint (that would be Alban, generally considered the first Christian martyr). Clio’s mother died some years ago in a “rest home” after years of hearing voices – so imagine Clio’s dismay when she is visited by some voices of her very own.

This is just the kind of book I love to share. It’s not a frontlist title and probably never was, but it’s engaging and well-written with just the right touch of the supernatural – or you could call it magical realism. The magic is Christian in nature, as one would gather by the title, but the book does not seek to convert. Any reader could enjoy this as just a book with some magic, regardless of their beliefs. Some of the characters are slightly one-dimensional, but it works within the context of the story – and the ending is a bit abrupt, but perhaps it’s just that I was enjoying the story and wanted it to last a little longer.

There is a frustrating lack of author information online, so I can’t report anything about Alan David Justice other than the fact that this is one of three books he has published. You can find him on Goodreads to see the other two titles.

I listened to what one could consider an audio version of this book – the author reads it aloud in a series of podcasts – but I believe that it’s best experienced in print. Although Justice does not appear to be a professional narrator, he does a fine job reading and his voice is, for the most part, easy on the ears once one gets used to a male voice speaking a female first-person narrative – but the app I used to listen (Librivox) was glitchy and interrupted the flow of the story. You can find the legacy podcasts grouped together on Scribl if you want to give the audio a try -it’s free – or if you want to read the print version, it’s free on Amazon if you have Kindle Unlimited; otherwise it’s 99 cents.