A rogue order of nuns, tucked away in Humboldt County, are raising an abandoned deity. The Sisterhood, long persecuted by the patriarchs of the Great Church and decimated by a plague of prayer eaters, is on the verge of extinction when a mysterious white monkey appears in a snowstorm. It is a holy night like no other--complete with a wandering star, three disreputable magi, and an infant in a cardboard box.
. . . a hotbed of heresies
. . . a feminist insurgency
. . . a divine comedy
* * * * * Scintillating, sweeping, and sophisticated, this majestic tale careens in kaleidoscopic, galaxy-spinning turns. White Monkey Chronicles shows author Isabella Ides to be a self-assured, equal-opportunity paradigm demolition expert. Storming entrenched temples of orthodoxy, shattering icons, upending conventions--the eponymous monkey blinks his eyes and worlds collide.
But it's in the reconstruction that the story wins our hearts. When bohemian Sister Merry Berry fires up her pink 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible, top down, in preparation for heavenly ascent, readers will aspire to hitch a ride, relishing the mind-expanding exerience the transit has in store.
Alexandra Bonifield (click for full review)
NEA/Annenberg and O'Neill
Critics Institute Fellow