There is something epic--almost mythical--about this sparsely beautiful novel, although the story it tells is that of a single human life, lived simply in the silence of the desert. In 1851 Father Jean Marie Latour comes as the Apostolic Vicar to New Mexico. What he finds is a vast territory of red hills and tortuous arroyos, American by law but Mexican and Indian in custom and belief. In the almost forty ears that follow, Latour spreads his faith in the only way he knows--gently, although he must contend with an unforgiving landscape, derelict and sometimes openly rebellious priests, and his own loneliness. Out of these events Cather gives us an indelible vision of life unfolding in a place where time itself seems suspended.
"From the riches of her imagination and sympathy Miss Cather has distilled a very rare piece of literature. It stands out, from the very resistance it opposes to classification."--The New York Times