So masterful is Wolfe's writing, that when I stopped to think that I could not remember the main character's name, it took me a good few minutes to realize that she had not, indeed, given her a name. The title of The Confessions of X is never once undermined by a true, given name, and I even stopped reading so that I could page back and try to find some instance where her name was uttered.
I grew so very lost in this book - utterly enveloped and embalmed, so wrapped up in the characters. And the emotions. Oh, my beating heart - the emotions that Wolfe manages to convey. Every breath is simply shuddering with beauty that I can barely contain in my own mind's eye. I can barely contain it for the agony of it all.
The Confessions of X is not packed full of action or riddled with suspense and intrigue, like the other books that I'm so used to reading. It is overflowing with life. Overflowing with life and love, tears and laughter, agony and beauty, and in general the essence of living, from the perspective of the anonymous lover of Augustine of Hippo. Womanhood, grief, faith, laughter, freedom, and despair. The joys and pains of living. The triumphs of loving and grasping those anxious breaths of affection so cherished in this life. This story is so much more than historical fiction. Wolfe's research and immersion in the time, land, and cultures is captivating, all encompassing; "a gorgeous, poignant story - a journey both in time and to the soul. Wolfe's Writing is evocative, her research immaculate" (Tosca Lee, New York Times bestselling author of Havah: The Story of Eve, Iscariot, and others. She has also written collaboratively with Ted Dekker. Highly recommended. I am in the midst of reading Iscariot myself).
"Before he became a father of the Christian Church, Augustine of Hippo loved a woman whose name has been lost to history. This is her story."And what a story it is - enrapturing in all of its fiction, compelling in all of its history. This woman of incredible strength and courage, of emotion and fascinating dexterity, from naiveté to the depths of wisdom - she holds my heart, the imaginations of my soul, and I am full to bursting with the pure fascination. Read it and weep, laugh, cry, drift in the throes of another time, another place, another life. Ethereal beauty, flowing vocabulary, desperate love and vicious heartbreak - not necessarily in that order. This is the most beautiful book I have read this year, and I have read more than twenty.
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