VESTMENTS a novel by John Reimringer
(Milkweed Editions 2010 Editor’s Circle Selection)
Winner of the 2011 Minnesota Book Award for Novel & Short Story
This sensitive and searching debut confronts the conflicts of a newly ordained young priest from a family whose men "have always loved strong drink and a good fight," torn between his desire for spirituality and the temptations of the flesh.
—Publishers Weekly "Best Books of 2010"
"In this potent debut about a wayward yet devout young priest who struggles to reconcile his faith with longings of the flesh, Reimringer has crafted a suspenseful, illuminating, and highly readable saga."
—Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week/Starred Review
"This book knows the soul of the great old city: the yellowing taverns and fraying neighborhoods, the sense of grace in decline, the doubtful saints wrangling their disbelief. John Reimringer writes with the confidence and observation of one who was there at the time and is there still, and his novel has the knuckles and shouting and beer breath of glory."
—Leif Enger, author of Peace Like a River and So Brave, Young, and Handsome
"In this memorable, skillful novel, Reimringer writes compassionately about the tie between violence and yearning, the calls of the body and the calls of the spirit. Many writers can write well about one or the other. The gift of this writer is his rich understanding and love of both. Vestments is a wise, wide, and eloquent book."
—Erin McGraw, author of Lies of the Saints and The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard
"Vestments makes a powerful claim for the passion and danger to be found in the love of the spirit as well as in the desires of the body. Deeply rooted in history, burning with family furies, and told by a narrator-priest you find yourself rooting for (and wondering about), this is a captivating novel."
—Patricia Hampl, author of A Romantic Education and The Florist's Daughter
"Ribald and wry, concerned at heart with faith and forgiveness, Vestments is a rich, involving debut."
—Stewart O'Nan, author of Last Night at the Lobster and Songs for the Missing
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