Roberta Denys watches as her house burns down, on the day of her husband’s funeral. Roberta decides to follow a long ago dream to live a quiet, simple life and moves to her mountain property to live in the small gardeners shed there.
While Roberta desires quiet, cloistered away from the hustle and bustle of her previous life, events conspire to keep her attached to the outside world and interrupt her plans to spend her days in prayer and solitude. Her home was set alight by an arsonist. Her son is missing. And her friend, Suzanne, can’t seem to understand her need to be away.
What I thought:
Kathleen Popa pens this beautiful novel with great skill and poise. Bertie’s story begins with overwhelmingly tragic heartache and loss. Her journey through the pain and her desire to seek God in the most simplistic of ways is inspiring.
I loved the words Bertie uses to reassure herself that her life is not as hopeless as it seems to be. “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well”. Indeed, Bertie learns this truth firsthand through the kindness of new neighbours who seek to care for her needs in the gentlest of ways.
‘The Feast of Saint Bertie’ had me longing for a sabbatical from the hustle and bustle of life. Kathleen Popa inspires her readers to consider what is really important and uses Bertie’s story to inspire simple changes. As I pondered Bertie’s journey, I was inspired to live a life more focused on the things that are important, rather than the things that seem to engulf life. ‘The Feast of Saint Bertie’ is a timely reminder that we can choose to make our relationship with God a priority over all the things that would get in our way.
Guest reviewer:~ my friend Tracy from Beyond My Picket Fence
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