Toward that Which is Beautiful

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About the Book

On an ordinary day in June of 1964 in a small town in the Altiplano of Peru, Sister Mary Katherine (formerly known as Kate), a young American nun recently arrived in this very foreign place, walks away from her convent with no money and no destination. Desperate and afraid of her feelings for an Irish priest with whom she has been working, she spends eight days on the run, encountering a variety of characters along the way: a cynical Englishman who helps her out; a suspicious Peruvian police officer who takes her in for questioning; and two American Peace Corps workers who befriend her. As Kate traverses this dangerous physical journey through Peru, she also embarks upon an interior journey of self-discovery―one that leads her somewhere she never could have expected.


This is such a lovely story about journeys and finding one’s place in the world. I don’t think anyone walks through life without facing many difficult decisions, restless nights, and moments contemplating whether you made the right decision or not. But the wonderful thing about life is that you can always change what path you are on. And this is what Toward That Which is Beautiful is about.

You know, I don’t read a lot of books about nuns but there was something about this story that just called to me. I think it’s my inherent “flight” instinct that is always screaming at me to drop everything and go on an adventure. But this was a beautiful story that gave us to much culture and history.

The writing in this book is just so lush and vibrant, which helps to elevate the story that much more. Our MC is thrust into an unfamiliar world and we discover just as much as she does as the story progresses. All around this is a wonder and uplifting story that takes you on numerous trials and through a vibrant culture.

About the Author

Born and raised in an Irish Catholic family in St. Louis, Missouri, Marian O’Shea Wernicke is the eldest of seven children. She was a nun for eleven years and spent three years working in Lima, Peru, during that time. She is a former professor of English and creative writing at Pensacola State College and the author of a memoir about her father called Tom O’Shea: A Twentieth Century Man. She also coedited and contributed to an award-winning book of short fiction and memoir called Confessions: Fact or Fiction? Marian is married to Michael Wernicke, and they are the parents of three adult children. After many years in Pensacola, Florida, they now live in Austin, Texas.

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*