“Any Bitter Thing,” by Monica Wood, who was born in Mexico; Chronicle Books; hardcover, $23.95

“Any Bitter Thing,” is a timely and moving story of faith, family and hidden truths.

After her parents are killed in a plane crash, Lizzy Mitchell is sent to live with her beloved Uncle Mike, a Catholic priest, who raises her from the age of 2.

When Lizzy turns 9, Father Mike is dismissed from the church under allegations of impropriety with her -even though nothing happened – based on the testimony of the church maid and the feelings of many parishioners that a priest should not raise a child.

“Any Bitter Thing” is the story of a loving, responsible, devout, but flawed man undergoing a crisis of priestly commitment and participating in a secret tragedy that will irrevocably alter his relationship with the Church, with the niece he adores and with Vivienne, his neighbor and only friend.

In her search for the truth, Lizzy will discover both painful sacrifice and shocking betrayal of the people she thought she knew best.

“Any Bitter Thing” is “a soul-satisfying novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and healed in the utter unlikeliness of grace. Monica Wood writes beautifully, passionately, and the novel’s layered, intricate structure is transparent throughout to the sheer loveliness of its story,” says Tim Farrington, author of “Lizzie’s War” and “The Monk Downstairs.”

Wood is the author of “Ernie’s Ark,” a collection of stories, and of “My Only Story, a novel. Her fiction, book reviews and articles appear in many magazines and literary journals. She was born and still lives in Maine, which is also where her fiction takes place.


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