In her debut novel, Frances Maureen Richardson explores the lives of three Catholic siblings over the course of several decades. Not All of Me is Dust is an ambitious, sprawling work exploring what is means to be human, face temptation, and listen for and follow God’s will.
Kathleen is the burdened oldest sister, forced to take over a maternal role to her two younger siblings after their mother’s untimely death. Clare is the youngest, broken-hearted as her older siblings leave home. She is desperate to grow up herself and figure out what she should do with her life. The majority of the story focuses on Stephen, idealistic and intellectual, who answers God’s call and becomes a Jesuit priest.
Richardson, who has a master’s degree in religious studies, has penned an intelligent, well-written story. The characters are well-developed, multi-faceted and flawed. They are fully human, struggling with life and the consequences of their actions. Not All of Me is Dust is an excellent addition to the genre of Catholic fiction.
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