Eclipse of the Sun
Publisher: Ignatius Press
Publication Date: 1999-09-01
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In this fast-paced, reflective novel, (the second in a trilogy following Strangers and Sojourners) Michael O'Brien presents the dramatic tale of a family that finds itself in the path of a totalitarian government. Set in the near future, the story describes the rise of a police state in North America in which every level of society is infected with propaganda, confusion and disinformation. Few people are equipped to recognize what is happening because the culture of the Western world has been deformed by a widespread undermining of moral absolutes.
Against this background, the Delaney family of Swiftcreek, British Columbia, is struck a severe blow when the father of the family, the editor of a small newspaper which dares to speak the truth, is arrested by the dreaded Office of Internal Security. His older children flee into the forest of the northern interior, accompanied by their great-grandfather and an elderly priest, Father Andrei. Their little brother Arrow also becomes a fugitive as the government seeks to remove any witnesses, and eradicate all evidence of its ultimate goals.
As O'Brien draws together the several strands of the story into a frightening yet moving climax, he explores the heart of growing darkness in North America, examining events which have already occurred. The reader will take away from this disturbing book a number of urgent questions: Are we living in the decisive moment of history? How dire is our situation? Do we live in pessimistic dread, or a Christian realism founded on hope? This is a tale about the victory of the weak over the powerful, courage over terror, good over evil, and, above all, the triumph of love.
"The sweet, lyrical and faithful voice of Michael O'Brien is perhaps the truest and finest in contemporary fiction. I searched for a very long time before finding a novel as vital as Father Elijah. I thought that such an achievement could not be repeated. It has with Eclipse of the Sun." ---Michael Coren, Author, Columnist, Radio Host
"The horrors in O'Brien's novel are frightening not merely because of his suspense-charged, page-turning apocalyptic plot, but because the instruments of coersion he describes are already largely in place. Interweaving moments of profound consolation and ultimate spiritual hope, as in his scintillating Father Elijah, O'Brien is revealed as a novelist of penetrating spiritual insight and prophetic clarity." ---David Lyle Jeffrey, Author, People of the Book
Michael O'Brien, born in Ottawa, Canada, in 1948 is a well-known writer on religion and culture. His essays have appeared in several international journals and anthologies concerned with these topics, urging the people of the Western world to examine the negative effects of materialism, and to rediscover authentic spiritual sources in the absolutes of the Christian faith.
Both his written work and visual art have been reviewed and reproduced widely. He is an author of several books, notably his seven volume series of novels published by Ignatius Press of San Francisco. The first volume, Father Elijah, published in 1996, has sold more than 40,000 copies in hardcover, and subsequent novels have also sold well.
I am currently working my way through this fantastic series of books, and each installment has me wanting more.
This book - and the series as a whole - is more than fiction though. Michael O'Brien manages to combine fiction with Catholicism in a way that instead of getting in the way of the plot - makes the plot. There are martyrs. There are conversions. And there are warning bells regarding the state of the Catholic Church today.
This book forces you to think about your faith while keeping you on the edge of your seat, following the multiple story lines all weaving together across decades. It inspired me to make changes about my life, something you don't normally think will be the result of a fiction book. Truly a masterpiece.