THE PASSIONATE HEART by Beatrix Beck

THE PASSIONATE HEART

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The French Prix Goncourt is a sometimes subtle examination of love, sacred and profane, and a level self appraisal. The German occupation in France, the persecution of the Jews, and the violent reprisals of the maquisards against the collaborationists lend a stormy background to the personal struggle of Barny Aronovitch, a young widow. Her own mixed desires take her to the Catholic church, and it is Leon Morin, a young priest, amused and severe, persuasive and decisive, who leads her from the confessional to conversion. But in the process of his guidance which is also a flagellation, she falls in love with him, and the torment of the flesh refines this experience of spiritual perception; exaltation is dimmed by the pain of renunciation as their paths separate... A delicate, discretionary transcript which questions the eternal in intimate terms, this is for a rather special audience- say that of Mauriac- who has been working over the vulnerability of the flesh as against the invincibility of the spirit for many years.

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 1953
Publisher: Messner