Gabriel is an ex-priest haunted by a past that is (to him) unforgivable. While rebuilding his life working his quiet job at a bookstore he meets an advertising executive who finds his uncanny ability to comfort the guilty and absolve sins marketable. Soon begins a global campaign targeted at guilty souls without faith who wish to confess and be forgiven – and Gabriel is at the center of the forgiveness revolution. This book is a satirical contemplation of the American need to both embrace and reject faith. -Jay's May Staff Pick, 2015
Forgiveness 4 You is a startlingly contemporary novel about faith and religion in an America addicted to quick fixes and instant gratification. Gabriel McKenna is an ex-Catholic priest, and with his quiet job at a quiet bookstore, he is—slowly—rebuilding his life. But even at the bookstore, people from all walks of life find their way to him and feel compelled to share their stories and reveal to him their deepest, guiltiest secrets. One of these people is Madeline Murray, a high-powered advertising executive, who, hours after her weepy confession, has a revelation: If she felt so comforted by this stranger, perhaps there’s something remunerative to his consoling abilities. Madeline has a vision: a business that will offer a secular form of confession and forgiveness—the comforts of religion, without the religion. Without knowing exactly how it happened (and whether any of it is morally sound) Gabriel is transformed by Madeline and her colleagues into the centerpiece of the forgiveness brand. And so a therapeutic revolution unleashes itself on America—or is about to, until a terrible secret threatens to torpedo the business and the man at the middle of it. Which would all be bad enough, were it not for temptation—in the form of Madeline herself. In Forgiveness 4 You, Ann Bauer combines her gift for characterization with a broad American canvas to dazzling effect. Written with verve and confidence, Forgiveness 4 You is an unusually ambitious novel that blends cutting-edge satire with a serious mediation on faith in the twenty-first century.
About the Author
Ann Bauer is author of two previous novels, The Forever Marriage and A Wild Ride Up the Cupboards, and co-author of the culinary memoir, Damn Good Food. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Elle. She lives in Minneapolis.