From the best-selling author of Snow Falling on Cedars—an emotionally charged, provocative new novel about a teenage girl who claims to see the Virgin Mary.
Ann Holmes seems an unlikely candidate for revelation. A sixteen-year-old runaway, she is an itinerant mushroom picker who lives in a tent. But on a November afternoon, in the foggy woods of North Fork, Washington, the Virgin comes to her, clear as day.
Father Collins—a young priest new to North Fork—finds Ann disturbingly alluring. But it is up to him to evaluate—impartially—the veracity of Ann’s sightings: Are they delusions, or a true calling to God? As word spreads and thousands, including the press, converge upon the town, Carolyn Greer, a smart-talking fellow mushroomer, becomes Ann’s disciple of sorts, as well as her impromptu publicity manager. And Tom Cross, an embittered logger who’s been out of work since his son was paralyzed in a terrible accident, finds in Ann’s visions a last chance for redemption for both himself and his son.
As Father Collins searches his own soul and Ann’s, as Carolyn struggles with her less than admirable intentions, as Tom alternates between despair and hope, Our Lady of the Forest tells a suspenseful, often wryly humorous, and deeply involving story of faith at a contemporary crossroads.
“This is Guterson’s best book.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“Another virtuoso performance from David Guterson . . . Gripping . . . Marks an expansion of his vision . . . Transporting . . . Balances on the tension between belief and despair without ever losing its sense of mystery.” —L.A. Times Book Review
“Spellbinding . . . Mesmerizing . . . Brilliantly conceived . . . A marvelous and affecting spectacle, both timeless and contemporary, that makes for electric reading.” —Seattle Times
“Explores a complex and challenging set of questions without a hint of condescension . . . The dimensions of this compelling novel are catholic in the larger sense.” —Christian Science Monitor
“An intense and affecting journey of faith, miracle and humanity.” —Denver Post
“Blends some of the appeal of Stephen King’s uncanny tales . . . and John Updike’ s fables . . . Thoroughly absorbing . . . Guterson writes virtuoso dialogue.” —Seattle Weekly
“Magnificent . . . Reading it, I kept putting [Guterson] in the best possible literary company . . . I was in a state of elation while I was reading . . . A marvelous book, in every sense.” —Jonathan Raban
“An intense, gripping read . . . Finely etched characters, the most intriguing and fully realized cast in any Guterson novel . . . Should resonate with many readers searching for belief in the post-9/11 world.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Surely one of this year’s best novels . . . Outstanding . . . [Displays] heart, compassion, and a willingness to tackle the most fundamental, and insolvable questions of faith, belief, and personal responsibility.” —Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
David Guterson is the author of a collection of short stories, The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind; Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense; Snow Falling on Cedars, which won the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award, the Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association Award, and was an international bestseller; and the national bestseller East of the Mountains.