The Burning Bush
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By Sigrid Undset
The Burning Bush, the second volume of Nobel Prize-winning Sigrid Undset’s novel The Winding Road, continues the story of Paul Selmer. His reception into the Catholic Church brings not peace, but conflict, into Paul’s life. The world plunges into the Great War and then begins to rebuild; Paul’s business swings between success to failure and his marriage starts to succumb to its wounds. Yet conversion is not a single, enclosed event, but a measured process of the heart’s return to God.
Neither mouthpiece nor mere symbol of the modern temperament, the character of Paul Selmer is a living, authentic product of art, planted firmly in the fertile soil of authentic experience. What she began in The Wild Orchid Undset masterfully completes in The Burning Bush, cultivating the seeds of grace and bringing them to full flower with devoted patience.
“His soul had done the same as all other souls, run away from its home and lost itself in trackless wastes, its creator had followed it down upon earth in order to save it, had redeemed it from captivity at a price which human thought is utterly unable to grasp.”
Sigrid Undset (1882–1949) was a Norwegian novelist and essayist and a convert to Catholicism. Her work is renowned for its realism and poignancy, and she is best known for her three-volume novel Kristin Lavransdatter. In 1928, Undset was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.