Joseph Girzone wrote his parable in 1983 and published it himself with neither accompanying fanfare nor expectation of the extraordinary effect it would have on people around the world. With only word-of-mouth for advertising, and by virtue of its siniple message of love, Joshua became an international force of spiritual strength. after its modest beginnings, Joshua and its sequels have millions of readers around the world and continue to bring hope and peace to all who seek nourishment. When Joshua moves to a small cabin on the edge of town, the local people are at first mystified, then confused by his presence. A quiet and simple man, Joshua appears to seek nothing for himself. He supports himself solely by carpentry and woodworking, and he charges very little for his services. Yet his work is exquisite. Even more exquisite, and even more mysterious, is the extraordinary effect he has on everyone he meets. All who come in contact with him can't help but be transformed by his incredible warmth. The acceptance and love in his eyes and in each actions amazes the townspeople. Who is Joshua and just what is he up to? The answer to that question amazes them almost as much discovery of that same transforming power in each of their own hearts.
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(216mm x 133mm x 19mm)
Bantam Doubleday Dell
Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc
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US Kirkus Review »
Girzone is a retired Catholic priest who has written a treacly homespun fable about the Second Coming of Christ. The little town of Auburn is all abuzz trying to figure out the identity of Joshua, a humble woodcarver who has moved to a cottage on the edge of town and makes his living fashioning lamps and mailboxes and little animals for children. When the simple folk approach Joshua, he turns out to be quite friendly - he likes to drink wine and break bread with them, and talk mysteriously about God. He also visits the churches and synagogues around Auburn, upsetting some of the clergymen (especially the snooty Episcopalian, Father Darby) with his views on the rigidity and historical falseness of organized religion. No one is saying it out loud. . .but there seems to be something special about this guy. And then he goes and cures the blind and heals the sick ("Why are you carrying me, Mama? I can walk") and even begins appearing on television. The Catholic Church is so fed up with this audacity that it peremptorily summons Joshua to Rome, where he arrives after an ocean voyage (during which he raises a cabin boy from the dead and stops a storm at sea). He's finally censured by a group of cardinals for his arrogance, but when his friends arrive to tell him the news, Joshua has disappeared, leaving only a pair of old sandals and a couple of ancient Roman coins behind. Joshua is intended to be a humble, quietly wise type of guy, but unfortunately comes across like an earnest, all-too-with-it young parish priest, of the kind that makes one long for the likes of Fighting Father Duffy, or Bing Crosby in The Bells of St. Mary's In all, a well-intended, but disappointingly unoriginal novel. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Joseph F. Girzone
Joseph F. Girzone retired from the active priesthood in 1981 for health reasons. He then embarked on the suprising writing career that has brought him millions of readers. Among his bestselling titles are Never Alone, Joshua, and A Portrait of Jesus. He lives in Albany, New York. From the Trade Paperback edition.