Last Rites was definitely an enjoyable read for this lapsed Episcopalian. The story of Tom and his plight of feeling trapped by parental and ancestral expectations moved along in such a way as to keep me connected and interested in what the outcome would be. It's a story that will keep you engaged on more than one level.
New York, NY (PRWEB) November 29, 2007
Charles Patterson's recently published novel -- Last Rites -- has been receiving consistently positive feedback from early readers. It tells the story of Tom Reed, who grows up in a church family and follows his father and grandfathers into the ministry only to realize he went down the wrong road.
As the young rector of a dying parish in a remote part of the state he conducts lots of funerals, gives sermons that nobody listens to and hears the confessions of the parish's compulsive penitent.
After a series of run-ins with the laymen who govern the church about issues such as flying the American flag on the front lawn and letting the youth group use the church for a fund-raising concert, Tom feels increasingly isolated and unhappy. However, he puts off taking any steps that would upset his father, who is in a nursing home.
Tom's struggle to free himself from the influence of his family and church reaches its climax in New York City in a series of "last rites" that are moving, funny, irreverent, entertaining and very readable. It's a story that's never been told before.
Patterson is the author of eleven books, including the internationally acclaimed "Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust" (soon to be in 13 languages). His biography of Marian Anderson received the Carter G. Woodson Book Award from the National Council for the Social Studies in Washington, D.C. He lives in New York City and is a member of PEN, The Authors Guild and the National Writers Union. Patterson is a graduate of Kent School, Amherst College, the Episcopal Theological School and Columbia University (Ph.D. in Religion).
Early Reactions to Last Rites
"It looks like a bestseller to me. I wouldn't be surprised if you sell like JK Rowling within a year!"
"I absolutely loved it."
"I have just finished this delicious and also perceptive read. Louis Auchincloss and J. D. Salinger, move over."
"Excellent! ... The personal story of your breaking away from the church emotionally and intellectually is the most riveting and compelling aspect of the book."
"It was a page turner. You are a most sensitive writer, very forthright, honest, clever and humorous. Thank you for the chance to experience 'your' journey."
"I finished Last Rites last night and wish to congratulate you on writing a thoroughly fulfilling novel ... The story was well structured and the protagonist was easy to identify with ... There was quite a bit of humor throughout and Tom does turn out to have a dark sense of humor, especially towards the end."
"I loved it! It is extremely well written. You clearly write from a solid understanding of the Episcopal Church, especially the Episcopal Church I grew up in ... Thanks so much for writing Last Rites. It is a gift to the rest of us."
"I really enjoyed it, in spite of being shocked by the irreverence ... Are we going to read more about Tom Reed in the future? Hope so." (author's brother)
"Just this minute finished it ... and saw you through the whole story. It was such good reading. I got very involved in it...shall watch for it on the bestseller list!!! Yeah Last Rites!!!!!" (author's sister)
"Last Rites is so yummy! It is my dessert each night. What a fascinating tale you tell. I am nearing the end (darn!) and can't wait for the movie, the sequel (which I hear is in the works), and its appearance on the New York Times bestseller list." (author's niece)
"Last Rites was definitely an enjoyable read for this lapsed Episcopalian. The story of Tom and his plight of feeling trapped by parental and ancestral expectations moved along in such a way as to keep me connected and interested in what the outcome would be. It's a story that will keep you engaged on more than one level." (five-star Amazon review)