Lost Mission: A Novel by Athol Dickson (Howard Books — a division of Simon & Schuster — September 15, 2009), 368 pages
In the 1770s Franciscan Fray Alejandro, along with his superior Fray Guillermo and young friar Benicio, are sent into California, to the northernmost, most remote edge of explored territory, to plant a mission.
Closer to modern day, Lupe sees a sign — smoke drifting north when the wind is blowing south — and heeds her call to take the Good News to the heathen Americans. A devoted father and husband, wracked by pain, makes a plan and acts.
All of these threads are deftly woven together by Dickson’s hand. New and old, graceful and sinful, guilt-stricken and redeemed.
The different story lines are grafted together physically, but as the book progresses, they grow to become more and more related.
Brilliant. Genius. Authentic, real. I found the writing exemplary, and the story both down to earth and filled with wonder. I felt alongside these real, sympathetic characters. Lost Mission raises questions and pointedly draws missteps while allowing the reader to reach her own answers and conclusions.
The book is definitely part thriller, but one I wanted to take my time getting through because it’s so beautiful.
Love it. I’ve added all of Dickson’s work to my wish list.
Lost Mission poses great spiritual questions about what is, versus what we perceive. It touches on the topic of immigration in the United States, as well as the idea of a Christian ghetto.
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I received this book from the publisher, via the agent’s blog.