I was asked to review Eight Whopping Lies by Brian Doyle and I knew nothing about him. I just cracked open the book on my Kindle app one night and started reading it.
I was amazed. It is amazing writing that makes you feel connected to the writer as a Catholic even when you don’t agree with what he is saying or even have the memories that he has about growing up Catholic. The essays are each amazing in their own way but the writing style is one that is rare in Catholic books. We tend to write a lot of conversion stories, theology or apologetics and this book is none of those. It is straight story telling at its finest.
I read it in one sitting and have found myself picking it up again over and over when I need a story that will pull me in and take me into someone else’s world to give my brain a break from the theology, debates on social media and the every day stress of my life.The story of the rosary he received from his grandmother made me want to be that Catholic grandmother to my grandchildren.
In a time in my life when I have really been questioning my choice to become Catholic and change my children’s lives from one of no religion to one where I go to confession regularly and Mass on Sundays, even when they no longer do either, I needed this book to remind me of the legacy that the Catholic faith can be in someone’s life.
It reminded me of the blessing that this faith is and the mark it leaves on a family for generations. I think my great-grandparents wanted to leave that mark on my family when they decided to become Catholic so many decades ago. I hope that I am carrying on that legacy as I learn more about my faith.
Since reading this book I have learned that Brian Doyle died this past May. I have found all of his writings and I can’t wait to dive into more of them. He is a talented writer, one I hope to be like one day.