Customer Reviews


19 Reviews
5 star:
 (6)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Howatch reminds us, again, all is not what it seems.
"The Wonder Worker" is a good book. The characters are, for the reader, old friends, or maybe even enemies. Howatch reminds us, as in her other novels, things aren't necessarily what they appear to be. A new theme she emphasizes is we are always on a journey to health-spiritual, emotional and physical. For Nick and his staff at the Healing Centre the journey...
Published on Nov. 29 1997 by thawood@juno.com

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but fascinating
I wanted to like this book. I'm an Anglican and an anglophile. It was my first Susan Howatch novel. I knew people who liked it. It was imaginative of the author to write in the voices of four different characters. But! The plot was illogical at times. Most of the characters acted as if they needed emergency psychotherapy a lot more than they needed spiritual direction...
Published on Aug. 1 2000 by spidir


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Howatch reminds us, again, all is not what it seems., Nov. 29 1997
By 
thawood@juno.com (Stamford, Nebraska) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Wonder Worker (Hardcover)
"The Wonder Worker" is a good book. The characters are, for the reader, old friends, or maybe even enemies. Howatch reminds us, as in her other novels, things aren't necessarily what they appear to be. A new theme she emphasizes is we are always on a journey to health-spiritual, emotional and physical. For Nick and his staff at the Healing Centre the journey is fraught with hazards, demonic and otherwise. Make sure you have time to read this one. Although it was a bit over analytical for my taste I had a hard time putting it down.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Nick Darrow Is Back!, Jan. 22 2001
This review is from: The Wonder Worker (Paperback)
Nick Darrow, the psychic Anglican priest, was one of my favorite characters in the 6 novel Starbridge series so I was very glad to see Susan Howatch reprise him in his 40s in this novel. He was much younger in "Mystical Paths," which took place before his ordination. Howatch told the Starbridge stories with one narrator in first person for each of the Starbridge novels. With this one, she returns to a device she used in her "Cashelmara" and "Penmarric" days of having alternating characters tell the story in first person. Nick has a ministry of healing and deliverance using his psychic powers. Lewis Hall, his former spiritual director, now lives and works with him. The danger for Nick is in the temptation to become a Wonder Worker. This is where he becomes a charismatic Christian healer who works in pursuit of his own fame and glory rather than God's. This book also has more of a love story develop within it than some of the other Starbridge novels did and you see it develop from the main characters' points of view. Venetia reappears from the Starbridge series also and takes up with Lewis Hall. These characters all reappear in the novel which came after this one, "The High Flier," but they are no longer the leads in that novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting Romance with Intelligence and Discovery, Jan. 14 2001
By 
Regin S. Kovacs "Dragon of Literature" (Corinth, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Wonder Worker (Paperback)
Susan Howatch has enveloped the reader in a menage of intertwining relationships and their reflections from each character in such a way as to capture the intelligence and interest of the avid reader. Her insight into such different characters and their own reflections on their involvement with each other is both insightful and just plain riviting to read. The consistent and faithful reader of books will enjoy the serious side of Howatch's examinations, yet the reader will not be disappointed by the need and satisfaction of romance.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but fascinating, Aug. 1 2000
By 
spidir (Brooklyn, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Wonder Worker (Hardcover)
I wanted to like this book. I'm an Anglican and an anglophile. It was my first Susan Howatch novel. I knew people who liked it. It was imaginative of the author to write in the voices of four different characters. But! The plot was illogical at times. Most of the characters acted as if they needed emergency psychotherapy a lot more than they needed spiritual direction. The psychological lingo was anachronistic (what professional could diagnose "an acute psychotic episode resulting from a nervous breakdown" with a straight face any more?). The only character who made consistent sense was Sister Clare Veronica, Nicholas's spiritual director. Even in the face of all that, though, the book had its strange appeal. After finishing it, I immediately tacked two of the Starbridge novels to see what they were like.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars A Bit Disappointing, May 6 2000
By 
John T. Farrell (Yonkers, New York) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Wonder Worker (Paperback)
The Wonder Worker was a disappointment. Although it contained all the elements I love about Susan Howatch -- her knowledge of the Church of England, her deft use of multiple narrators, and her ability to capture the spiritual dimension of human endeavor -- this work did not meet the standards of her previous Starbridge novels. The characters and improbable plotting were the problems. Besides Alice in the first section of the novel and a surprisingly deep Rosalind, the characters were unpleasantly self-indulgent and self-absorbed. It was impossible to find much redeeming about the misogynistic and homophobic Lewis, who was much more finely nuanced in Howatch's earlier Absolute Truths. Even worse, it was difficult to muster up many positive thoughts about Nicholas, the wonder worker himself.
An especially unpleasant aspect of the novel was its "MacGuffin," that is, the device or event that precipitates the crisis at the center of the novel. In this case, it was a tragic death. The other characters, Christian healers all, are so absorbed with saving their own skins and Nick's ministry that, with the exception of Alice, don't even bother to pray for their lost colleague. It makes one wonder why Nicholas' ministry was so worth saving.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars The story is all consuming. Be prepared to be swept in., April 23 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Wonder Worker (Paperback)
The story and characters hooked me immediately. I began to fear that all would not be resolved within the last ten pages. I couldn't bring myself to read any faster. The twists were great and kept you guessing. The introduction into the Anglican Catholic Church was reminiscent of Father Andrew Greely's books. I found it very informative as well as entertaining. I would greatly hope that Ms. Howatch will find a few more stories to tell.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Howatch provides the best spiritual reading, Jan. 20 1998
By 
MTCLAX (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Wonder Worker (Hardcover)
Again Susan Howatch has provided us with a book that contains a wonderful combination of pyschology and religion. And what respect she has for her characters, too! If a work of literature is judged by how well it "teaches and delights," this work joins the Starbridge novels as a piece that can be judged as very good, indeed.
Even so, I DO miss Starbridge!
Rev. Martin Connell, SJ (mconnell@uofdhigh.k12.mi.us), Detroit, MI
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good but not as good as the other novels in the Starb, Jan. 17 1998
By 
Anne Walsh "Anne Walsh "consciousness shi... (Co. Galway, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Wonder Worker (Hardcover)
I could hardly wait to get my hands on this book!! I loved the other Starbridge novels and was especially fascinated by Jon Darrow i.e. Nick Darrow's father. However, I feel that this book has a slightly repetitious feel about it. I felt more could have been done about Venetia (another fascinating character) and I thought Francie's psychic breakdown rather similar to "possession sequences" in the other Starbridge novels. However having said that, overall it was still pretty good. However I look forward to Susan Howatch perhaps taking a whole different direction with her next novel - which I am already looking forward to !
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A gripper., Jan. 1 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Wonder Worker (Hardcover)
On the back of this wonderful book there is a picture of Susan Howatch, smiling. Having just finished the last page, I now know she's smiling at the reader, absolutely delighted with the act she's just pulled off.

Howatch's series on the English clergy has been excellent from the start, but this book is
what my wife and I call a "gripper." It is more riveting than the best thriller I've read in a
long time.

Into the Healing Centre comes Alice, who looks like the back end of a bus, but cooks
cordon bleu. Her self-esteem is zilch, a word she uses often to describe what she's gotten
out of life. When she stumbles into a service conducted by the gorgeous, charismatic
Father Nicholas Darrow, she's bowled over. When he gets her a job in the rectory of the
Healing Centre, we're off to the races, because everybody is in love with Nick--especially
Nick.

Like Howatch's other books, this one is a study of clerical life, its joys and its very
considerable hazards. Nick really is a psychic healer. Unfortunately, he's hard put to keep
himself from using his special grace for his own quite unconscious purposes. When he
slips, his analyses of other people's problems are so far wrong that they would be ludicrous
if the people themselves weren't at horrible risk. The story is about the ways in which the
main characters--Alice, Nick, Nick's wife Rosalind, his partner Father Lewis Hall, his
unfortunate curate Stacy and the chief of the Centre's "befrienders," Francie--cope with
their own problems when they are being helped and/or driven out of their minds by Nick.
It's not pretty, but sometimes it's hilarious.

If you think religion is for sissies, this book might change your mind. I have a feeling that
some slightly stuffy critics might call it melodrama, but then that's what they said about the
works of Dickens and Trollope, too. In fact, this is a very serious novel about very serious
matters, but don't worry, it's also a moving and fascinating story. You might as well block
out a few hours and plan to stay glued to your chair when you tackle this one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In UK this book is called " A question of integrity", June 13 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Wonder Worker (Hardcover)
I have read all of the "Starbridge" novels and like other reviewers, found this one slightly less compelling. Why is it that I just want to shake Nicholas Darrow's wife, Rosalind and tell here to get the hell out of there? There is not enough interplay of the old families from the previous novels. Only brief encounters with Aysgarths and Ashfords, even Venetia fades in and out of the sub plot without much impact. This is still a good novel, but with the others I carried them round the house reading at every opportunity, this one has stayed firmly beside my bed - not a good sign!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xb1820048)

This product

The Wonder Worker
The Wonder Worker by Susan Howatch (Paperback - Oct. 20 1998)
CDN$ 22.95 CDN$ 16.57
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews