Brother Boniface by Mary Lavin, 1942
The magic trick:
Portrait of a man who recognizes beauty in the world that society doesn’t allow time to appreciate
The world is too loud and too fast for someone with Brother Boniface’s talents. Though maybe not the smartest guy around, he is uniquely gifted with the ability to appreciate the world – whether it’s the stars above or the band of cats he’s befriended.
Unfortunately, even the rectory is full of too much work for Brother Boniface to properly enjoy the majesty of the natural world.
As it is, this is a really nice, quiet portrait.
And that’s quite a trick on Lavin’s part.
The new young man was given the name of Jennifer, but it wasn’t very long till he was known as Brother Gardener, in the same way that Brother Boas was called Brother Sacristan, and Brother Lambert was called Brother Vintner. But Brother Boniface always kept his own name because he never did anything well enough to be left at it for long.
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