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Two unlikely worlds collide in Sheila Peters's first novel, The Taste of Ashes, a story of redemption and the resilience of the human spirit, even at its most frail and vulnerable. Isabel Lee's early life in rural BC was forever changed by a brief but powerful love affair with a young Oblate priest. Now a recovering alcoholic, Isabel struggles to pull the tattered fragments of her life together and repair the damage to her relationship with her estranged daughter. Once idealistic and hopeful, Father Àlvaro Ruiz now has his own demons to confront. Brutally tortured at the hands of the Guatemalan authorities and unable to escape the wounds of his past, Àlvaro returns to Canada seeking sanctuary, a broken man with a tenuous grip on his faith in God and humanity. Isabel's and Àlvaro's stories slowly weave together and they are eventually faced with their greatest challenge yet: can they carry on in the wake of the damage and bring themselves to forgive? Compelling, disturbing but ultimately hopeful, this is the story of how we find grace in the most unexpected places.
- Caitlin Press, May 2012
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