J. S. Anderson lives and writes in Longview, Washington. He has a lifelong interest in western religions and cultures. An aficionado of art, good food, and music (vocal music and the blues draw him most), he enjoys remarkable architecture and learning about the creative, artistic and cultural forces that contributed to significant buildings and their surroundings. An amateur photographer, he is drawn to colors and enjoys finding the odd picture and the unusual point of view. Check out his web page at: www.jsandersonauthor.com/
Once again in its long life, the Book of Hours was in danger. And Alphaios had put it there…
While recreating a resplendent fifteenth century Book of Hours as a gift for the pope, Brother Alphaios and archivist Inaki Arriaga discover shreds of an ancient parchment thrust into its covers. Though warned away by a visibly shaken Prior Bartholomew about the danger it holds, they pursue the few haunting words that remain, only to stumble on a dark secret that could undermine the very foundation of Catholicism. Now they are torn in a battle between the Church, which wants to destroy the parchment or bury it forever, and its owner, real estate mogul Salton Motice, who wants to use it for nefarious purposes.
Meanwhile, the brothers of St. Ambrose learn that Motice intends to buy their midtown cloister and replace it with a skyscraper. The monks will be displaced from their home of nearly two centuries with no certainty at all about their future.
Drawn ever further from the cloister into the chaotic city, Alphaios again encounters some of its most intriguing residents—a strange young woman obsessed with painting enormous replicas of master artworks under one of the city’s great bridges, and a couple who, decades later, are still coping with having to flee from despots in their own country and almost certain death.
Through it all, Brother Alphaios wrestles with allegiance to his religious vows as he searches for a way to protect the document for the terrible truth it tells.
A severely damaged fifteenth century Book of Hours, a man starving to death in a sumptuous art deco flat, an architect searching for the unconventional, a demonic old man, the tragic death of an infant and her father, a stolen human heart—
When Brother Alphaios comes to a great American city to recreate the Book of Hours, he must discover both its origins and the heresies that kept it hidden away for six hundred years. Finding himself an unwelcome guest in a cold, dour monastery, he becomes beguiled both by the audacious fifteenth-century illuminator he calls Jeremiah and the characters he encounters in the vast, chaotic city. Reflective and experiential, Brother Alphaios is drawn to make his own bold statement—one final touch with his finest sable brush.
Reviews and Comments by Readers about Book of Hours
I find your style very engaging and your approach to telling this story quite captivating . . . it comes across an as an intelligent, engrossing story that I feel like as I reader I could really get happily lost in. But it also comes across as quietly plotted and very character driven, which sadly isn’t always a good thing in the eyes of agents these days. On the other hand, there’s a terrific sense of atmosphere in the writing and also an assuredness to the storytelling that I think will get you taken seriously . . . —Ross Browne, President and CEO, The Editorial Department
By the time I was a few chapters into the book, I was convinced that the author had been a cloistered monk whose monastic duties included restoring the illuminations of antique manuscripts—just like his protagonist. This is what I mean by an authentic voice. Even if readers know nothing of the author’s background, they feel they’re listening to someone who knows what he’s talking about, and that even if the story is fiction, it’s true to life. —Peter Gelfan, Editor, The Editorial Department
From Amazon readers:
A great read. Really liked this book , it was a fast read for me , it’ll be interesting to see how far he will go and how he gets through the rest of the predicaments he gets into with the next book, , I really liked the ending . Thank you so much for this read. —MD
A multi-faceted book that left me wanting more. Very vivid pictures were developed in my mind with the author’s rich descriptions. I hope there is more of Brother Alphaios in the future. Entertaining and interesting, and I even learned some things!—–ECW