40% off Glenn Dudro's Pick of the Week*
As we experience the polarized rhetoric of the U.S. presidential election cycle, a book that gives us much to ponder about how we as Catholics should participate in civic life is the novel The Cypresses Believe in God, a fictional account of the lead up to the Spanish Civil War written by Jose Maria Gironella in 1953 and reprinted by Ignatius Press in 2005.
The novel begins in 1931 and is set in the town the author’s own birth, the provincial capital of Gerona. It follows the Alvear family over the next 5 years as the slow breakdown of Spanish society spirals down into a brutal civil war. Masterfully, the author explains the major philosophic movements of the age (anarchism, communism, socialism, Catholicism, monarchism, existentialism, and others) as they collide in the Alvear family and the microcosm that Gerona is of Spain. The author puts a human face (though not always pretty!) on the factions fighting in the confused alliances in the Spanish Civil War and their counterparts in the rest of Europe that are planting the seeds of the coming world war.
The real power of the novel, however, is in the moving depictions of the Catholic faith that permeates the life of the Alvears in both the ordinary and the extraordinary events of the times. Never sappy or triumphalistic, the author draws some of the most powerful scenes of remorse and forgiveness for sins, I think, in all of literature. Altogether, this is a thoroughly educational , entertaining and edifying novel.
Glenn Dudro has been directing the finances, accounting and information systems at Ignatius Press since 1994. His wife, Vivian, also works for Ignatius as a senior editor. They have four mostly grown children and live in San Francisco
*Employee Pick of the Week program features savings of 40% off a book, movie, or compact disc personally chosen and recommended by an Ignatius Press employee. Each week, an Ignatius Press employee will select a favorite book, movie, or other Ignatius Press product and write a few sentences about why he or she thinks customers will enjoy the particular selection. A short bio of the selecting employee will also be included, giving customers a chance to learn a bit more about the people who are Ignatius Press.