Happy Spring! With spring comes the news that Ignatius Press has made Ceremony of Innocence available for pre-order. (The 'A' in the title should be off the cover when the covers are made!)
Here is what Ignatius says about it:
Scottish Catholic journalist Catriona McClelland comes home to her Frankfurt apartment to find her German ex-boyfriend Dennis sitting nervously on the couch. Police arrive. A Canadian student, Suzy Davis, has been drowned, and both Cat and Dennis are suspects in her murder.
Subsequent police interviews trigger Cat's memories of her reluctant friendship with Suzy, an enthusiastic supporter of left-wing organizations. The two women had become acquainted while terrorist bombings, student unrest and neo-Nazi riots brought Germany to a boiling point. Cat had tried to maintain her professional aloofness while writing reports on these events, but the political became personal when Suzy fell for Dennis and forced Cat to confront her hypocrisy in refusing either to marry the much younger man or to let him go.
Ripped from the headlines, Ceremony of Innocence is a very contemporary novel of Europe on the edge of social breakdown. Train stations are bombed and migrants targeted for violence as journalists and other tastemakers watch from their positions of privilege.
Cummings' realistic narrative does not describe the feats of heroes. Rather, it unnervingly lays bare the way religious faith and moral reasoning can be easily manipulated and compromised.
Whoo-hoo! Not my usual sort of thing, eh? And I hope the greatest Roman Catholic thriller writer of the 20th century, Graham Greene, would approve. It's very much in memory of him.
Let's see. What can I say? Well, first of all it's not autobiographical. I did meet someone who reminds me greatly of Catriona 20 years ago, but I haven't seen her in 19. And there is someone in Germany who looks surprisingly like Dennis, but he is not really like him. But I know where their flat is, and as I don't know the current occupants, I haven't been in it for some years.
Second, you will really like this book if you are German or know Germany at all.
Third, this is not a good set-text with which to home-school children. It is a grown-up book, with grown-up themes, but I sent the manuscript to my parish priest without a moment's qualm. (He loved it.)
I recommend pre-ordering straight from Ignatius. I feel strongly that Catholics have the responsibility to support Catholic bookshops and Catholic publishers, so that both can actually thrive and be open to taking a chance on relatively unknown Catholic writers like myself. This is especially true for fiction. In the pyramid of "who makes the money" in publishing, the lion's share goes not to the author, nor to the publisher, but to the bookseller. Therefore, it really does matter to the Catholic bookshops, Catholic publishers and Catholic writers where you buy a book.
Ignatius link here.
Meanwhile, I'm very grateful to Ignatius for having taken a chance on me--and on Catriona, Dennis, Suzy and all the people who walked into my head a few years ago. I love them like children, so I'm glad you're going to meet them, too.