It is autumn 1943 when German forces invade the peaceful vineyards and olive groves of Giovanna Bellini’s village in Tuscany. At first, the seventeen-year-old finds herself fascinated by the dashing Nazi officers. She has yet to come face-to-face with the harsh realities of war.
Her life changes when her brother joins the partisans and recruits her to smuggle food. What begins as a lark takes a drastic turn when she’s asked to hide a wounded freedom fighter, for Mario Rava is not just a partisan—he’s also a Jew.
As Giovanna helps Mario heal, their bond deepens. But the world around them is in upheaval, and terrible truths are slowly being revealed—truths that will endanger countless lives, as well as the love that has grown between them….
Order your copy today: The Golden Hour
2003, John Wiley & Sons, New York
In 1995, Margaret Wurtele’s only son Phil, age 22, was killed while attempting to rescue a wounded climber on Mount Rainier. In Touching the Edge, the author reflects on her son’s life with love and humor and offers observations on the complexities of parenting. She chronicles the shock and pain of loss, and then — drawing from yoga, from Buddhist and Christian literature — shares personal and spiritual insights.
“Layer by layer, chapter by chapter, the reader walks with Wurtele into healing. Loss becomes knitted into the fullness of life, bringing new compassion and even exuberance.”
- Krista Tippett, Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Touching the Edge is an homage to love, loss, and the rising grace that comes when grief is transformed into peace. Margaret Wurtele’s bow to her son, Phil, is a story we can all recognize within the context of each family’s dance with death. Her words can heal the fall of a human heart.”
- Terry Tempest Williams, author of Refuge, Red, and Leap
“In her profoundly moving memoir, Wurtele takes readers deep into the heart of her anguish, then out into the brightness of a life reclaimed…..readers who have experienced personal tragedy will find great comfort and healing within its covers.”
-The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Touching the Edge is an extraordinary memoir. Margaret Wurtele writes of the most painful events a parent can ever imagine, and yet she writes so honestly, so clearly, with prose as lucid and shimmering as cut crystal, that the book shines with a quiet grace. I too have a single grown child. I read this book and trembled. But I also saw, through Margaret Wurtele’s eyes, a glimpse of the light that guided her through the darkness. It was a privilege to read this book.”
-Susan Allen Toth, author of Blooming: A Small-Town Girlhood and My Love Affair with England Literature
Get your copy today: Touching the Edge: A Mother’s Spiritual Path From Loss to Life
1998 St. Mary’s Press
Margaret Wurtele, raised in a benevolently agnostic family, embraced Christianity as an adult. Taking Root chronicles her evolving journey as a month-by-month journal of a year in the garden. Each chapter focuses on a figure in Christian spiritual history – Meister Eckhart, Julia of Norwich, Thomas Merton among them – and weaves insights from the garden with personal spiritual reflection.
“Margaret Wurtele’s voice is utterly reliable, radiant with an authority forged of…a hard won humility. Her resolute honesty and the insights about her surprising immersion into Christianity make this a compelling book. It’s strange to think of a spiritual memoir as a page-turner, but that’s how I read Taking Root.”
- Patricia Hampl, author of Virgin Time and Blue Arabesque
“Anyone who is a spiritual seeker will love this book; any student of Christian spirituality will value its clarity and light.”
-Edward Sellner, author of Wisdom of the Celtic Saints and Finding the Monk Within
Get your copy today: Taking Root: A Spiritual Memoir