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Binding: Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-57131-086-6
Pages: 432
Publish Date: September 2011
Genre: Fiction


BY John Reimringer

Let me begin today, illumined by Thy light, to destroy this part of the natural man which lives in me in its entirety, the obstacle that constantly keeps me from Thy Love.

Taught this prayer as a boy by his grandfather, James Dressler recites it when he’s tempted by earthly desires. But intimacy is not easily denied. Originally drawn to the priesthood by the mystery, purity, and sensual fabric of the Church, as well as by its promise of a safe harbor from his violent father, James finds himself—just a few years after his ordination—attracted again to his first love, Betty García. Torn between these competing loves, and haunted by his father’s heritage, James finds himself at a crossroads. Exploring age-old and yet urgently contemporary issues in the Catholic Church, and infused throughout by a rich sense of the history and vibrant texture of Saint Paul, this is an utterly honest and subtly lyrical novel.

Hailed as a Best Book of 2010 by Publishers Weekly, the bracing tale of a young man caught between faith, family, and his love for a woman from the past.



• Reading Vestments with a book club? Keep the discussion lively with this Reading Group Guide.




Hailed as a Best Book of 2010 by Publishers Weekly, the bracing tale of a young man caught between faith, family, and his love for a woman from the past.
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Editorial ReviewGoodreads Review

"In this potent debut about a wayward yet devout young priest who struggles to reconcile his faith with longings of the flesh, Reimringer has crafted a suspenseful, illuminating, and highly readable saga."

Publishers Weekly, STARRED review and Pick of the Week

"One of the most anticipated books for Fall 2010."

Huffington Post


Pioneer Press

"Reimringer's debut novel, about a Minnesota priest, is finely wrought, with overtones of J.F. Powers. [Protagonist James Dressler is] full-blooded in a way fictional priests so often aren't, and he stars in an admirably complex study of family ties."

Star Tribune

“Through his thoughtful themes and lyrical prose, Reimringer effortlessly restores a measure of dignity to the priesthood even as he pays tender homage to the working-class roots of St. Paul.”


"Holden Caulfield meets Colleen McCullough's The Thorn Birds with some Bukowski on the side, this is a compelling tale that provides a little-seen, interior, first-person point of view of the priesthood. For all readers interested in inner conflict."

Library Journal


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John Reimringer

John Reimringer's debut novel, Vestments, was named a Best Book of 2010 by Publishers Weekly. Reimringer lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his wife Katrina Vandenberg.

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