Brian Doyle is a talented Catholic writer whose enthusiasm for life and storytelling is astonishing. We have reviewed quite a number of his books, and he always seems to be up to the challenge of gifting us with fresh approaches to everyday spirituality where wonder, imagination, and joy thrive. Doyle carries this collection of 37 stories into our heads with exquisite prose and into our hearts with emotional beauty. In the foreword, he states:
"Me personally I think stories are the coolest wildest prayers there are. It's no accident that the skinny Jewish guy who wandered around Judea some years ago was a terrific storyteller, his tales mysterious and shimmering, wriggling their way through the centuries even into our day."
From the first story, titled "My Sin" on forgiveness, to the closing one, "What Am I Doing Here," Doyle gives us good medicine for our souls. He probes the sacred dimensions of a street, a 100-foot tall cypress tree more than 3,000 years old, silence as a miracle with many meanings, marriage as a partnership of two mysterious changing countries, lost kids, secrets, what it's like to be hit by a bullet, and power.
Near the end of Grace Notes, Doyle admits that he may be the luckiest man in the world. That's what the practice of everyday spirituality can do for you. That's what being a detective always on the lookout for grace can do for you. Both endeavors bring forth large doses of joy and contentment. Doyle is a happy camper in the kindom [sic] of God.