“In 1998 Ms. Rice rejoined the Roman Catholic Church for the first time since suffering a “total breakdown of faith” at age 18. “That was in 1960, before Vatican II, and I was a very strictly brought-up Catholic,” she explained. “I lost my faith because what I had been taught was so wrong.” An overwhelming desire to “return to the banquet table” and assurances from a priest in New Orleans that she didn’t have to resolve all her differences with the church (most notably over the issue of homosexuality) led to the reconciliation.
“Christ the Lord” is one result of Ms. Rice’s rediscovery of her faith. With classic Ricean audacity, the story is told in the first person by Jesus himself. Otherwise, “Christ the Lord” seems likely to surprise Ms. Rice’s fans and detractors alike. It is devoid of vampires, witches and feverishly gothic prose. Instead, in simple sentences, it describes the domestic life of an extended Jewish family in first-century Palestine as seen through the eyes of a 7-year-old boy who has only an inkling of his true nature.”