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Book Reviews

The Seville Communion

Who wants Our Lady of the Tears Church in Seville, Spain salvaged so much so that they might of killed for it? Unfortunately you don’t get to find out until the very last line but you won’t care because you will be so taken by all the characters involved with the church.

The Seville Communion

The Seville Communion

Author: Arturo Pérez-Reverte

375 pp. Harcourt Brace & Co.

If you like a good mystery combined with solid literary detail and prose you will enjoy best selling author, Arturo Perez-Reverte’s, The Seville Communion.  You are lured by the promise of a mystery, who wants Our Lady of the Tears Church in Seville, Spain salvaged so much so they kill for it.  Unfortunately you don’t get to find out until the very last line but you won’t care because you will be so taken by all the characters involved with the church.

You are introduced to Rome’s version of Richard Chamberlain in the Thorn Birds, Father Lorenzo Quart, sent by the Vatican to see what is going on at the Church where two people have met untimely deaths.  There is the troubled but beautiful Macarena Gavira whose estranged husband, Pencho, is plotting to close the church, her mother the Duchess, her great-aunt that went insane over unrequited love and Gris Marsela the former nun restoring the church who has a mysterious past. 

You will be most captivated by the subplot and beautiful dialogue around and between the people in service to God, the Pope and to Seville’s Our Lady of the Tears. So many of the characters are questioning their faith, their relevance in the world and the role the Church plays that you are sent into your own introspection.  “If you’re to save your soul, there must be no show of individuality or personal choice” says Gris so how could she have killed but only in service to God.  Or did someone else kill to serve themselves and which is a worse crime in the eyes of God?  This all makes for powerful writing and a captivating read.

The good and bad guys are detailed and beautifully written about, that you are so caught up by them more so than who did what and when.  There are portions of the book that go a bit slow for a mystery and offer more detail than necessary and take you on tangents, when all you want is to know more about these people of Seville.  The second half of the book picks up the pace when a third body is discovered in the church and it’s a nasty paparazzo, the only unlikable person in the book. 

If you want to escape to Seville, be seduced by an unlikely gathering of people and are in the mood to question your own faith, this is the book for you.


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