An Argentinean cleric, tortured in the 1970s is rescued and brought to Rome. A generation later, having rising within the hierarchy, a candidate for the papacy himself, he must confront his past.
Outline Review Morris West, author of the bestselling novel The Shoes of the Fisherman, manages in many of his books to balance a steadfast Catholic faith with a razor-keen perception of the flaws of the Church. Eminence begins with Monsignor Jorge Novak's 1995 admonishment of the Church's "complicities [in respect of] illegal repression" in Argentina and a short citation from William Pitt (1770): "Where law ends, tyranny begins." West uses these political statements as the launching point for his very personal story of Cardinal Luca Rossini. Luca is a compelling character--a haunted man who offers the world a stern visage to cover a deeply troubled soul. As a young and outspoken priest he was brutally tortured in an Argentine military prison and was then nursed to health by the beautiful Isabel, wife of an Argentine diplomat. To cover the scandal of his unacknowledged treatment, he was recalled to Rome and exiled to the Vatican. As the novel begins, Rossini is now the confidante of the reigning pope. He is admired and feared by his colleagues, for Rossini (like his creator) understands the Church, speaks frankly, and knows how to present his ancient faith to the late-20th-century media. When the pope becomes gravely ill and a successor must be chosen, Rossini takes a central role in the process. In the midst of the political intrigue that surrounds the selection of a new pope, however, Isabel arrives in Rome--along with Luca's daughter. Luca must suddenly confront old and painful memories of Argentina and the scandalous passion of his long-suspended love affair.
Eminence is a brisk thriller and simultaneously a very relevant examination of the byzantine Vatican City; but the ultimate pleasure of the book, as with the best of West's writings, derives from his complex and very human portrait of a modern man of the cloth. --Patrick O'Kelley
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date Jan 28, 2003
Publisher Toby Press
ISBN 1902881699 ISBN13 9781902881690
Availability 3 units. Availability accurate as of Mar 30, 2017 02:56.
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More About Morris West
Morris West was born in Australia in 1916 but lived for extended periods in Italy, Austria, England and the USA. West started writing novels in the 1950s. He is the author of 30 novels and has sold more than 60 million copies of his books worldwide in over 27 languages. West helped to found the Australian Society of Authors, was chairman of the National Book Council, chairman of the National Library of Australia and a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. He was made member of the order of Australia (MBE) in 1985 and officer of the order of Australia (AO) in 1997. West also wrote screenplays, radio dramas, plays and was also an artist. He died in 1999.
I have been a Morris West fan since the early 1970's. I have read nearly all of his books and have enjoyed not just the style, but the thorough knowledge about whatever the topic that was part of the story. He was an excellent researcher. His greatest work surrounded his Catholic Faith and his intimate understanding of both the mechanism of the Church's life, but also the psychology of religious thought and belief. In Eminence, one of his last novels, we have a celebration of all of his skills in a very insightful tale of both the struggle for integrity and the power of the gift of love to heal the wounds and give courage in the midst of mystery.His characters are vivid, and his pace is both engaging and intriguing. West's knowledge of the times, both in the geo-polity of Argentina in the late 1980's and early 90's, as well as the dynamics within the Church at the time, was dead-on. Without trying to defend the sins of anyone involved in the story, he invites the reader to attempt to understand the frailties of the human condition and the power of faith. Eminence is a great read and a fitting legacy of a master story-teller.
A real sad story Sep 27, 2002
This book is a real sad story, it keeps you reading almost all the time, is not exactly a thriller but is very sad, reading this book you will see how live the people in the Vatican and how they feel. The story of Isabel and Luca is sad since the beginning of the book, also is the story of Piers Hallet and is only written once, but the childhood of Stephanie was awful. I won't comment anything of how Luca and Isabel met because I will tell you part of the book, but it was terrible, if you are not in the mood of "crying" while you read, don't read this book.
Church and power - once again Jun 26, 2000
Once again, Morris West brings to life a clergyman with a troublesome past. Cardinal Luca, burdened with old memories of being molested by Argentine soldiers, comes to town - THE town, La Citta. So does the love of his life, an ambassador's wife. West weaves an elegant web of love and politics (churchly and worldly). As the Pope dies, Luca has to cope with his love's fatal illness, the election of the successor of St Peter - and his own past. Of course, the election turns out more exciting than anyone could guess, with an unexpected turn at the end. As usual, West gives us a thoroughly researched background - this time on the pulling of strings behind the scenes: Maybe this is the way popes are elected; we can not really know. West has a flair for telling about live people in odd circumstances. And he does not let us down.
Can you hear the tune? Mar 24, 2000
The emotions and struggles of West's characters are real, heartfelt, and dated to the beginning of mankind. In this way, I always relate to his stories, tantalized and drawn in by his graceful style and--often un-American--sense of dignity. On the other hand, the dialogue tends to flow from pre-ordained scripts, rather than from the down-on-the-street world most of us live in. I usually overlook this stilted quality because of the seductive narrative. His words nearly hum a tune of honor and the quest for truth in a world gone mad. West is one of my favorite authors and I enjoyed this story of Luca and Isabel and the political jockeying within the Vatican, but I wouldn't rate it among his best. I hope he has one more truly original premise to vent in his latter days. Meanwhile, try his nonfiction offering "A View from the Ridge." This man truly attempts to reconcile faith with the darkness of the world around us--and for that he sits high on my list of influential authors.
A "must read" Aug 17, 1999
EMINENCE is a breathtaking journey through the political fabric of the Vatican during a crucial period, set in the near future. The hierarchy wrestles for direction in the lead up of the election of a new Pontiff. Morris West's novel is clearly a "must read" for anyone enjoying a well written, compelling novel.
While you are masterly entertained by the author, he uses skilfully a highly accomplished structure of the novel as his Trojan Horse to present compelling argument to sketch out the fundamental problems facing the Roman Catholic Church, and Christianity at large, everywhere. West's insight and maturity takes you on the path to new thinking on essential questions on spirituality, traditional faith, and illuminates our own search for God, and life's meaning in a new age.
I hope it becomes compulsory reading for high office bearers of the Roman Church, as they soon might need to wrestle with the election of a successor to the ancient throne of Peter.
As to the wisdom of a great writer, we ought to be truly grateful.