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A debut novel from a promising new voice in fiction, Healing Maddie Brees is the story of a marriage and the memories that pit themselves against it, of the uncanny power of the body in both disease and desire, and of whether true healing ever really happens.
Maddie Brees has been given bad news: She is seriously ill. But she also has an old friend, an ex-boyfriend who might be able to heal her. She was witness to Vincent Elander’s so-called miracles in the past. But that was a long time ago, a memory that she would rather stay buried.
Now she is happily married to Frank and mother of their three young boys. The religion of her past is behind her, along with any confidence she once had in it. With the onset of her cancer, the memories of Vincent won’t leave Maddie alone, and before long they are affecting everything else: her marriage, her husband, the things they thought they agreed on, the beliefs they thought they shared. Soon Frank, who was to be Maddie’s rock throughout her treatment, is finding fault-lines of his own.
Praise for Healing Maddie Brees
“Most powerfully, Stevenson links the physical to the spiritual, letting Maddie’s breast cancer open her to a spiritual journey, letting the veneration of the Eucharist open space for understanding illness, letting love for the mortal body open space for love of the divine. A gorgeous meditation on broken bodies, fractured faith, and the soul-wrenching path to serenity.”
“Stevenson writes beautifully and raises book-group discussion-worthy issues about relationships… diseases… and faith.”
“thought-provoking and sobering…
Fans of Julie Cantrell’s The Feathered Bone… will want to check out this title.”
–Library Journal, Starred Review
“An elegant story of faith and healing.”
–Stephen Chbosky, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower
–Barbara Claypole White, Bestselling Author of The Perfect Son
Finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award and for the Montaigne Medal.
“This tale of physical and spiritual healing unfolds as a combination of current struggle and meaningful back story. The novel relates the tough process of recovery from cancer, misbelief in God, disbelief in God, alienation in marriage, and doubt. Perhaps the biggest battle faced by Maddie Brees is the need to be healed from a perverse self-centeredness. The superb writing conveys present and past with compelling images, beautiful words, and a lovely and relentless pace, even while skillfully confronting questions that belong in a theology class. The result is a story of wonderful characters who act so human in overcoming the pitfalls of life, love, and belief without the blatant miracle.”
–Eric Hoffer award