New novel explores Thérèse of Lisieux
At the near centenary (2023) of her beatification, the life and legacy of Thérèse of Lisieux is immortalised further in Sarah Law’s biographical novel, Sketches from a Sunlit Heaven.
Published on 27September 2022, Sarah Law’s Sketches from a Sunlit Heaven is a fictionalised account of the life and early death of popular Catholic Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.
The book features author Sarah Law’s retelling of Thérèse’s story from the simultaneous viewpoints of those closest to her.
Whilst other authors have offered studies of Thérèse, Sarah Law presents her as a courageous young woman, whose ardent faith and daring confidence astonished her contemporaries.
The novel follows Thérèse’s story through the voices of six characters who knew her well: her sisters Marie, Pauline, Léonie and Céline; a young cousin, and a troubled seminarian with whom she corresponds towards the end of her life.
Each character offers their own perspective as they witness to Thérèse’s life and death, the turns of history, and the subsequent complexities of promulgating a saint. Spanning the 19th and 20th centuries, each voice negotiates the tensions of religious life.
Author Sarah Law has previously published a book of poems on the subject of Thérèse.
“This novel reflects on the human as well as the spiritual journey of a much-loved young woman, her rapid rise to sainthood, and the graces and love she inspired after her death,” Ms Law said.
“It does this through the stories, talents, struggles and passions of six important witnesses and interpreters of her life. The novel spans from the 1870s, through two world wars, to 1958.”
“An intensely lyrical yet accessible novel, it should appeal to devotees of Saint Thérèse and those new to her milieu, readers interested in women’s religious communities and those who enjoy cultural, historical and biographical fiction.”
Sketches from a Sunlit Heaven is available now.