Sleepless nights and restless days erode Sister Jude’s peace of mind, capsizing the equilibrium of the life she chose, the life she’d loved. Although she roams the acres of monastery grounds in silent prayer so frequently she had to tighten the cincture around her waist, she cannot find her bearings. If God is calling her, Jude wishes He would speak louder. Or send her a sign. He had shown her the way once, so clearly, she’d forsaken her widowed father and the boy who loved her to answer His call. But that was before the battles—from the Vatican to Vietnam—for Women’s Rights, Civil Rights, and the War on Poverty. Now she can no longer reconcile her sheltered existence with the desperate faces outside the monastery walls. Vowing to start a food bank, she leaves the convent, only to become ensnared in her best friend’s crumbling marriage. When Connie, pregnant with two children in tow, shows up at her door, Jude offers them refuge. But Jude soon learns how little she understands of the vagaries of the heart. And that her fierce faith and determination may not be enough to save Connie from her husband, the children from danger, or herself from a fall from grace.
Grace Marcus holds a Master in Theatre Arts from Montclair University. Visible Signs is her debut novel. An early version of the book was a semifinalist in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. She has been an actress, waitress, social worker, newspaper editor, and radio and cable TV show producer to name a few of the byways on her road to becoming a writer. Her work has been published in Philadelphia Stories, The Bucks County Writer Magazine, Adanna Literary Journal, TheWritersEye, Women on Writing, Me First Magazine, and Embark Literary Journal. A Brooklyn native, she has lived on both coasts, and presently calls North Carolina home where she is working on a new novel.
Reader, beware…you don’t just read Visible Signs; you inhabit it. In luminous prose, Marcus tells the story of two women in the turbulent 1970s—Jude, a Catholic nun, and her childhood friend Connie, now a wife and mother, rethinking cherished assumptions about family and friendship, love and faith…Judith Ryan Hendricks, best-selling author of Bread Alone
In Visible Signs you’ll meet and fall in love with . . . old friends making new starts, both painful and promising. Like the Mary garden planted in the story, what is planted comes to fruition, feeding the deer as well as these two strong characters who know the price to be paid for claiming themselves. I loved it from start to finish.Jo-Ann Mapson, author of Owen's Daughter and Solomon's Oak
Author Grace Marcus gives us these people with verve and compassion, from the nuns to the immigrants, from a traditional Italian family to the sensitive farmer who might just shift Sister Jude’s plans. This story of women re-examining their lives in the 1970s resonates strongly with our own times.Valerie Nieman, author of In the Lonely Backwater