Books: Modern Miracle

SONG OF BERNADETTE—Franz Werfel—Viking ($3).

Franz Werfel is a second-flight European man of letters with the schooled competence of his breed and with a reverence for the human spirit which too many of his literary superiors lack. In this novel about the miracle of Lourdes, which is an act of piety transcending blood and creed ("I am not a Catholic but a Jew"), he brings that reverence into clean, spacious focus.

The Song of Bernadette is the story of an adolescent girl in the French Pyrenees who saw, or indestructibly believed that she saw, the...

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