Weymouth-set book about faith, friendship, Red Sox

Research is great answers when life is painful and confusing. Yet life is lit up with bright moments of grace when bonds are forged between unlikely friends in “Little Hours: A Novel,” written by Lil Copan. (One Bird Books, June 2021, $18.99, 323 pages.)

A fictional Catholic monastery is set in Weymouth where Sister Athanasius, a nun, writes regularly to her new pen pal Miriam, a working married mother of two teenagers. The exchange is triggered when Miriam sends two questions: “Is there really ornithology at the monastery? And what should I do with my husband?

Thus begins a year-long correspondence from the point of view of Sister Athanase, who introduces Miriam to the “Bings”, the sisters of Saint Hildegard of Bingen.

Why did the author set up the convent at Weymouth? An excerpt from Sister Athanase’s letter to Miriam is perhaps revealing:

“Earlier I was thinking how interesting it is that we share a common state with the very long name, Massachusetts. You near Quabbin, we in Weymouth on the South Shore. Do you know our spit of land was once an ammunition bunker Now it’s answering nature’s call to return to its original shape, with sumac bushes, meadow grasses, pines claiming a appropriate place near the shore, as if as soon as he could, the earth was transformed from a sword into a ploughshare. “

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