Wednesday, August 19, 2020


 Silence. What makes you uncomfortable? The characters in Catherine Lacey’s novel titled, Pew, face what makes them uncomfortable, and Lacey’s fine writing leads readers toward understanding about human nature and life in modern society. When a family arrives in church one Sunday, they find someone stretched out in their pew. Their religious values lead them to reach out to help this person who seems to be homeless and seems to need help. All the inquiries of this person are met with silence, leaving the community discomfited. What do we call someone who does not disclose a name? They decide to call the person, “Pew.” Is Pew a man or a woman? After being taken for a medical exam, Pew refuses to remove clothing, leaving the gender classification unresolved. Skin color does not unequivocally establish the sorting classification that some in the community desire. Without the answers from Pew relating to identity, the community members are very uncomfortable. Lacey leads the narrative forward toward the community forgiveness ritual that pulls the story together in ways that may not satisfy all readers. Lacey’s prose is finely written, and this novel will appeal to those readers who appreciate thought-provoking literary fiction.


Rating: Five-star (I love it)

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