WEST VIRGINIA PILGRIM by James Lewis

WEST VIRGINIA PILGRIM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Celebrating a decade as an Episcopal priest in West Virginia, Lewis has gathered diary-excerpt vignettes and reflections into eight collages that follow the medieval hours of prayer (Matins, Lauds, etc.). The intimation is that the things he does and thinks each day constitute the rhythm and substance of his spiritual life. One gets a distract feel for his day-to-day world, and he's a likable enough fellow--gregarious, perceptive, compassionate, hardworking, with a healthy sense of humor. But there seems little in his standard liberal views and pastoral activity to justify this book-length exposure. Though his intent seems to be to discern a glint of transcendence shining through the everyday, most of the book is cloaked in trivial detail and trite commentary. He'd like to be the Annie Dillard of parish life, but lacks her eye for telling detail and deep sense of irony and wonder; perhaps, too, Tinker Creek offers richer source material than a Charleston church.

Pub Date: April 9th, 1976
Publisher: Seabury