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Earth Has No Sorrow Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2002

7 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Lily Connor Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Following Blake's acclaimed first mystery, The Tentmaker (1999), Texas-born Lily Connor, the Episcopalian priest who's human, intelligent and caring, returns in a superbly written and compelling novel set during the reflective period of Lent. Dressing in her usual garb of jeans, sweater, cowboy boots and clerical collar, Lily is the director of the Women's Center in downtown Boston. She also serves on the ecumenical council and the Holocaust remembrance committee. When Charlie Cooper, a divinity school friend and Episcopal monk, and Anna Banieka, a Holocaust survivor, enter the Episcopal cathedral of St. Michael's and All Angels to check on preparations for the service that will conclude the remembrance day activities, they're faced with a vicious hate crime. After Anna disappears, Lily seeks the aid of her boyfriend, police photographer Tom Casey, to help find her. Lily's quest for the truth takes her on a dangerous journey of both body and spirit that winds up with a heart-stopping climax and some disturbing revelations about the people in her life. The author exposes the very souls of her unforgettable characters with honesty, poignancy and wit. Rich settings and eloquent prose further enhance this most satisfying story, which will send new readers seeking the first in the series and leave those already hooked longing for the next addition. Agent, Gail Hochman. (June 4)Simons.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In this sequel to The Tentmaker, Blake's successful series debut, an ugly hate crime disrupts a Holocaust memorial service presided over by Episcopal priest Lily Connor, after which the event's main speaker (and Lily's good friend) goes missing. When Lily investigates, she discovers that her friend had ties to an invidious religious group. Taut and thought-provoking, with an emphasis on character development and religious reflection; for most collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (June 4, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425185230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425185230
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,524,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

When my daughter graduated from college, our family gift to her was a trip to the Sawtooth Mountains and the River of No Return, in central Idaho. She had seen a series of photographs of the region and its people, taken by the photographer Susan McPhee , and had been so moved by the landscape and faces that she vowed to get there someday. From my point of view, this was an excellent gift, because I got to go with her. The picture above was taken outside the town of Stanley, after a week at the Diamond D ranch, a hidden gem of a guest ranch inside the Frank Church Wilderness Area, the largest wilderness area in the lower forty-eight. I look sad because we were leaving the next day, and I knew I would miss the beauty and the people.
Art isn't required to serve some useful function, but despite itself, it often does. A photography show drew my daughter and me to Idaho for one of the great adventures of our lives. Dorothy Sayers's novel Gaudy Night introduced me to the possibility of a life of the mind, for women, where books and thinking and truth held sway over the polite lies and pincurls of my southern upbringing.
I've been a writer for all of my adult life, and most of my childhood. I wrote poetry for the first fifteen or twenty years (depending on when you start counting). During most of that period I taught writing and literature, and founded and directed a graduate writing program at Warren Wilson College. Later, I attended Harvard Divinity School, where I got my Master of Theological Studies and for a short while considered seeking ordination in the Episcopal Church. Instead, I started a mystery series that features Lily Connor, a priest and activist in Boston.
This was the right choice. I would not have been a good priest. I am an impatient perfectionist who prefers to be left alone with a good book or a blank page, or both. I have just finished a new novel that is not part of the mystery series, though it does include an art heist and a psychic. I live with my husband, the writer Dennis McFarland, in rural Vermont, and our two grown children, when we can lure them home.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jackie on September 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Michelle Blake a Harvard Divinity Grad has a keen ability to introduce the reader not only into to the plot of the story but also into the lives of the characters. Her main character Lily Connor is an Episcopalian priest who wearing jeans and cowboy boots shatters the stereotypical image of the "conservative" priest. In this story Lily embarkes on a quest of truth not only about her missing friend Anna but also her own spiritual life.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Lily Connor was born and raised as a Catholic, but left the church to become an Episcopalian minister. She is a tentmaker, earning a living outside the church and has no assigned church although the diocese would like her to serve in one. Her closest friend, Anna Baneta, watched the Nazis kill her parents for harboring Jews. Anna went to an orphanage and then to Auschwitz before immigrating to America.

Lily and Anna work for the ecumenical council sponsoring an event involving the Holocaust. When they arrive at the church to insure everything is ready for the worshippers, they find a Nazi flag and some vandalism. Anna thinks she knows who is behind the sacrilege and tells this to Lily before leaving to take a bus home. However, instead of reaching her destination, Anna vanishes, leaving Lily determined to find her.

EARTH HAS NO SORROW is a powerful work that does not preach, but questions some of the basic tenets of organized religion through Lily's crisis of faith. Readers feel her anguish, confusion, and sorrow over what she believes is a failure on her part. The complex mystery contains numerous feasible suspects, which makes for a difficult guess as to whom is the culprit. Michelle Blake uses a missing person's tale to focus on religion, but never decrees any judgment.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dominic Smith on June 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is the second outing for Episcopalian priest, Lily Connor (the first being "The Tentmaker"). She is working on an event sponsored by the Holocaust remembrance committee when her good friend and holocaust survivor is kidnapped.
Upon investigation into the kidnapping, Lily finds that she doesn't know her friends as well as she first thought. She goes through some emotional turmoil as her beliefs are brought into question due to her perceived failings.
On the mystery side of the story, I enjoyed the fact that we are given many possible suspects and could decide for ourselves who we thought was the guilty party.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reality tourist on December 30, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Ms. Blake shows more comfort with her characters and plot in this interesting tale of the holocaust and religion in general. The plot is not actually religious, but Ms. Blake, again, uses religious issues and history to bind the plot and characters together very nicely.

I especially like the fact she is employing the pscyhic traits of Lily more and look forward to this "twist" in future novels.

Lily is a likeable and very human character, but it can be a bit depressing as she tends to not lighten up on herself. It would be nice to see less of this.
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