Well, I finally finished The Wonder Worker. Don't you love this cover? I love the juxatoposition between the cross and his face....a very fitting symbol for the whole book.
The book follows Nicholas Darrow, who is Jonathan Darrow's son (see Howatch's Starbridge series). Like Jonathan, Nicholas is blessed with what Howatch calls "psychic" powers, which are basically the more charismatic gifts of the Spirit. Anyway, the book has five main sections, all from a different character's point of view, but it begins and ends with the same character. Nicholas is basically on a downward spiral, moving from a God-centered spiritual healer to a "wonder worker," which is a selfish abuser of the gift God's given him. Yet, will he be rescued?
I really like Howatch, but I had several theological issues with the book, which prevented me from enjoying it more. She tends to ascribe too much to psychological issues and brushes off true demonic and spiritual activity.
Also, the ending tied up way too nicely for two certain characters. Don't get me wrong; it's the ending I wanted, but still...it seemed a bit premature.
On a positive note, one of the saddest parts of Scandalous Risks was the utter lack of hope for Venetia Flaxton....but this book brings her back---and her ending sounds happy! I really appreciated that Howatch did that. Even one of her own characters in Absolute Truths lamented Venetia's fate and I felt exactly the same way. So, basically, read the Starbridge series first.