The sensual and provocative story of Ruth N. Tooten, a woman whose spiritual but not religious journey leads her to the mysterious and mesmerizing Bishop X, who fulfills her every forbidden dream and desire…of becoming a womynpreest. Sr. Patricia Owens O’Flannery weaves an exciting tale of self-discovery by erecting new boundaries of tradition, thus establishing a modern standard for the mature Catholyc woman’s fantasy novel.
From the Foreword, by Fr Roy Bourgeios ~
In every generation, a novel comes along that captures the imagination; that defines the soul of a people with clarity and deep insights; that brings to life a character with raw emotion, rife with real flaws matched with real virtues. This is not that novel. Still, if you have a few hours to spare, it’s not the worst way to spend your time.
An excerpt, from Fifty Shades Of Grey Hair ~
Ruth was escorted from the lobby by a second woman, this one slightly younger than the receptionist who greeted her, dressed in the same cut of powder-blue polyester pantsuit, but her hair still showed remnants of its original color. She followed the new woman down a short corridor, her gaze fixed on the salt-and-peppered shorn unevenness of her hairstyle.
A heaping of coals upon the institutional church, Ruth thought. It’s shameful these faithful ladies are not compensated enough for a decent cut and color!
The corridor ended at a lush mahogany door, the knob a gleaming gold, as if it were its own source of illumination. It seemed to beckon to Ruth – Come! Touch me! Open me and all your fears and inhibitions will be released! If this were a garden, it would be the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Except here there was no “serpent” – just the call of her conscience, clear and invigorating. There was no turning back now. She had crossed the Rubicon and closed that door behind her. Was the room spinning, or was it just her imagination?
“Just go right in, dearie,” her escort cackled. “The Bishop is expecting you.”
At first, Ruth didn’t quite hear what was said. It was as if the only sound in her ears was the roar of her breath, held back within her lungs, crushed by her fibrillating heart. Only when she finally exhaled, did Ruth process the woman’s invitation. She blinked several times, regained her composure, and offered a smile that she hoped didn’t betray the weakness in her knees.
“Thank you,” she said weakly, her mouth dry from anticipation. “Thank you very much.”
“May I get you a coffee,” The Bishop said. It wasn’t a question, or an invitation, but more like a gentle command, or a profound intuition, as if he were reading her heart like an open book. “You look like a decaf Free Trade sort of woman.” His eyes smiled as he spoke, his voice purring, like that of an angel.
“I am,” Ruth said. “With Splenda.”
Oh my, she thought. Am I flirting with him? I really must stay in control!
The Bishop crossed his office to a tea service that stood against the wall, beneath a portrait of Cardinal Bernadin. As he poured the coffee into two ceramic mugs, he said “You do realize, Ruth, that should I ordain you, the institutional Church will declare that you are excommunicated, latae sententiae?”
As the exotic words rolled off his lips, Ruth’s heart skipped a beat. Was it because of their grave meaning, or was it because of the way he said them? Or maybe a combination of both?
He came over to where she was seated, and handed her the mug, its contents steaming and hot.
“Thank you,” she said, taking the mug from him. Her fingers lightly brushed against his, and she felt a rush of warmth that came more from his very hand than from the hot coffee itself. As if he were making the coffee warm just by holding it, rather than the beverage heating him. She felt herself blushing.
“Careful,” he said. “It’s very hot.”
He sat down opposite her, his smoldering gaze locked upon her eyes. She sipped surreptitiously from her mug, the mellow hazelnut aroma filling her senses, and she was forced to look away.
“You haven’t answered me,” he reminded her, and he gently slurped from his own mug.
“I…I suppose I haven’t,” Ruth responded. “Maybe you should repeat the question.” She so desperately wanted to hear him say those Latin words again, that rich ancient dead language, in his full resonant voice. Perhaps such words were the death knell to other people’s spiritual life, but to her, they were the words of freedom, and she so deeply wanted – no, needed – to be freed.
And Bishop X was going to be the death-penalty-commuting-governor to her death-row soul.
Here are a couple reviews ~
Sr Joan Chittister: “Another great accomplishment for Sister Patricia! She’s indomitable!”
Nancy Pelosi: “Inspiring! I couldn’t put it down!”
TIME: “Why isn’t this woman Pope already?”
Terry Nelson: “So beautiful…made me cry.”