A remarkable debut novel!
“In this potent debut about a wayward yet devout young priest who struggles to reconcile his faith with longings of the flesh, Reimringer has crafted a suspenseful, illuminating, and highly readable saga.
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
“‘The men of my family have always loved strong drink and a good fight,’ says John Reimringer’s narrator, a young and unsure priest trying to make sense of his St. Paul family’s two-fisted history. That he confesses this with equal parts pride and regret shows how much he has to overcome. Ribald and wry, concerned at heart with faith and forgiveness,VESTMENTS is a rich, involving debut.”
—Stewart O’Nan, author of Last Night at the Lobster and Songs for the Missing
“In this memorable, skillful novel, Reimringer writes compassionately about the tie between violence and yearning, the calls of the body and the calls of the spirit. Many writers can write well about one or the other. The gift of this writer is his rich understanding and love of both. Vestments is a wise, wide, and eloquent book.” —Erin McGraw, author of Lies of the Saints and The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard
Let me begin today, illumined by Thy light, to destroy this part of the natural man which lives in me in its entirety, the obstacle that constantly keeps me from Thy Love.
Taught this prayer as a boy by his grandfather, James Dressler recites it each time he’s tempted by earthly desires. Originally drawn to the priesthood by the mystery, purity, and sensual fabric of the Church, and by its promise of a safe harbor from his tempestuous home, James finds himself—just a few years after his ordination—attracted again to his first love, Betty García. Torn between these competing loves, and haunted by his familial heritage, James finds himself at a crossroads. Exploring age-old and yet urgently contemporary issues in the Catholic Church, and infused throughout by a rich sense of the history and vibrant texture of St. Paul, this is an utterly honest and subtly lyrical novel. A major debut.
A former newspaper editor and a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Arkansas, JOHN REIMRINGER lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with his wife, the poet Katrina Vandenberg. VESTMENTSis his first novel. Learn more at www.johnreimringer.com .