The Catholic Bookmarks radio program did air their interview with me this past weekend. If you didn't catch it on the air, they have an audio file on their website that you can listen to.
Also, Nancy Carpentier Brown posted an outstanding review on her "Flying Stars" blog; she was also kind enough to cross-post that review at Amazon. In part:
After spending every waking moment trying to finagle more moments to read just one more page of this book, I finally finished it much to my regret. I wanted more.
Passport is a difficult book to describe. It is a novel, yes. But what do you call a novel that makes you want to be a better person? That helps you see the sacrifices you've made aren't really that much, and you should do more? That turns your mind to your own selfishness and lays it bare? That makes you ask yourself if you're doing God's will in every little thing, and not just when His will and yours converge?
This is an adult novel, and yet, it's not that kind of adult novel. It's adult because it deals with mature stuff. Not that kind of stuff, although that's in there, too, just not graphically enough to give it an R" rating. It's adult because the mature stuff is about sin. And sacrifice. And loving someone enough to give up everything for them. And the consequences of even a moment's lapse in judgment. And the love of Christ to help you walk through the darkness.
This is a novel about ... a difficult situation. A very complex story about the complexities of sin, sacrifice, love, honor, chivalry, manliness and womanliness. It's a story about parenting, and families, and children, and faith, and hope. It's a story about a normal man, an average man, and a story about humans as we are. It's a story about how we try, and fail, and try again.
I think the greatest virtue in this story is hope. The main character never seems to give up hope, even though the situation--brought about by his own sin-- seems so hopeless. I loved his circle of friends, the garage where they work on cars and talk about life, the community center where they volunteer. And even though the main character is often hopeful, he is real and human. He often fails, there, too, and tries to run from his sorrows and pain in ways many of us will recognize, because we've run like that, too.
And although this story is told from the guy's point of view, I still liked it, and I could still relate to everything that was happening because it is a human story, and hope is something anyone can understand.
I guess I could also relate because of being a parent and a spouse, and the story revolving around those states in life and issues relating to them. I don't know what an unmarried young adult or a grandparently adult would think of this book. But I suspect the emotions and situations are universal enough for most any adult to be able to find the story compelling, interesting, and even challenging.
I recommend this book to any adult looking for some leisure or commuter-type reading. This book is easy to read. It's a page-turner because you want so badly for the situation to be resolved in a good way, and there are so many almost insurmountable obstacles in the way.
You won't be uncomfortable reading it because it keeps itself modest, and yet, talks about subjects you might not talk about with your friends, unless you know them really, really well, and trust them with your secrets.
Passport: A Novel. Bring a tissue. Bring your hopes and fears. Prepare to be changed. Prepare to be challenged.