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Into this idyll comes Mariette--young, pretty, devout, but, as her father says, perhaps "too high-strung" for the convent. Prone to "trances, hallucinations, unnatural piety, great extremes of temperament, and, as he put it, 'inner wrenchings,'" Mariette scalds her hands with hot water as penance, threads barbed wire underneath her breasts while she sleeps, and is convinced Jesus speaks to her. Her very glamour disturbs the gentle rhythm of the nuns' lives. But when she begins bleeding from unexplained wounds in her hands, feet, and sides, the convent is thrown into an uproar. Is Mariette a saint? Or just a lying, hysterical girl? Where do we draw the line between madness and faith, mysticism and eroticism, the life of the spirit and that of the world?
It's to Hansen's credit that he never provides easy answers. Mariette's stigmata may or may not be genuine; the novel's achingly gorgeous prose is the true miracle here. Mariette in Ecstasy is a brief, precious book, not a single word in excess, not a single word left out. --Mary Park
The artistry with which Ron Hansen crafts this story is remarkably beautiful and the true treasure of this novel.
Hansen does an amazing job of representing the spiritual doubts that come upon people of even great faith in this period of rationalist philosophy and modern thinking.
The book started out a little bit slow,talking about the different characters, and their backgrounds, and explaining the plot.
this book was not what I expected but it was very well written and I enjoyed the story line even though it left me feeling somewhat sad. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Reality tourist
I found this to be a wonderful story. It was quite different from most books I read. I am glad to have this as part of my
permanent library stash! Read more
It seems a stylistic gimmick at first. Ron Hansen starts each of the three sections of this exquisite novel with a series of short phrases touched in as with an Impressionist's... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Roger Brunyate
This is the second time I have read this book and it was even better this time. The writing is excellent - exquisite. He obviously did a lot of research. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Deh
"I read this book as it was recommended in my book lovers calendar. It was a good story. The style is very different from anything I've read before but not necessarily a deal... Read morePublished 8 months ago by J. Flohre
This story kept me fascinated about the power of belief and faith. Excellent reading I could not put it down to do my workPublished 8 months ago by patricia reinsch
I love the story about this wonderful Saint.It kept me reading from beginning to end.Excellent story of a beautiful womenPublished 9 months ago by Frances Behrens
I'd heard such good things about this book. I was nervous to read it, as a born atheist with a big gaping hole where a normal person's fundamental knowledge of religion might go,... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Charlotte
I read this because of a recommendation by a person in my book ckub. I found the idea of the story interesting, but I think the author did not do a good job in connecting all the... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Seascomet