A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (1989). Set in a vividly drawn New Hampshire town in the 1950s and 1960s, this novel’s title character is a tiny boy with a “wrecked voice” and no talent for baseball. In fact, the only ball he hits kills the mother of his best friend, narrator Johnny Wheelwright. Owen’s disabilities make him the butt of jokes, yet he believes he is an “instrument of God.” Familiar Irving hijinks and humor abound in this story, which delivers a stirring meditation on history, hypocrisy, social justice, and faith.
Total Points: 3 (JW 3)