Picks and Pans Review: Our Lady of the Forest

UPDATED 11/03/2003 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/03/2003 at 01:00 AM EST

by David Guterson

[STARS 3.5]

Faith is in pretty short supply in North Fork, Wash., until an asthmatic 16-year-old runaway, after foraging for mushrooms in the forest, says that the Virgin Mary appeared before her and asked her to visit the parish priest and help build a church. Guterson's third novel is populated by a collection of lost souls like the runaway. It's also a searingly honest portrait of the downwardly mobile in blue-collar America. Are the visions of the Virgin Mary real? Does it matter? North Fork suddenly acquires a new economic base—religious tourism—as the faithful arrive seeking room and board and laundry facilities as well as miracles. Guterson's troubled characters and their interactions aren't the stuff of which happily-ever-after endings are made. But that's less important than the larger issues posed here, among them the nature of faith, its role in salvation and the ability of both to ease human suffering.


Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine


From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

Latest Photos

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters