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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Embracing change

As a Lenten discipline, it can open you to God

A novel we like to revisit this time of year is Father Melancholy's Daughter by Gail Godwin (Avon Books, 1997). The title character, Margaret Gower, is a senior in college who is struggling to discover what she wants to do with her life. Her father, an Episcopal priest, suffers from bouts of depression. Since her mother abandoned the family, Margaret has been his caretaker and confidant.

Godwin's religious perspective permeates every layer of this story, most of which takes place during Holy Week. Father Gower's ministry is under attack, literally, from the pressures of their town's development. Margaret comes home for Easter vacation to witness the playing out of the passion story both communally and personally. "Resurrection applies to each of us," her father notes in one of his sermons.


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November issue

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