I don't take novels on retreat. In fact I tend to read very little on retreat. In fact I rarely pick up a novel at anytime. Apparently I have decided that novels are a distraction while art supplies are a path to God.
However, this summer a new assistant popped up in my classroom, who was just a bit enthusiastic about reading novels. So when I was at the library a week before retreat, I checked out a Nick Hornby novel and then made the mistake of opening it before packing. But with the exact number of short chapters left as days of the retreat, I figured I could treat myself to one chapter a day. Then prayed for self-control.
How To Be Good, gave this man of silence some things to think about while on retreat. The family centered in the novel needed some of my hope and while the last paragraph begins with a promise of that hope, the last line sends one into despair.
And I only read one chapter a day.