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by Suzanne M. Wolfe

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Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
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5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)



Before he became a father of the Christian Church, Augustine of Hippo loved a woman whose name has been lost to history. This is her story.


She met Augustine in Carthage when she was seventeen. She was the poor daughter of a mosaic-layer; he was a promising student and heir to a fortune. His brilliance and passion intoxicated her, but his social class would be forever beyond her reach. She became his concubine, and by the time he was forced to leave her, she was thirty years old and the mother of his son. And his Confessions show us that he never forgot her. She was the only woman he ever loved.


In a society in which classes rarely mingle on equal terms, and an unwed mother can lose her son to the burgeoning career of her ambitious lover, this anonymous woman was a first-hand witness to Augustine’s anguished spiritual journey from secretive religious cultist to the celebrated Bishop of Hippo.


Giving voice to one of history’s most mysterious women, The Confessions of X tells the story of Augustine of Hippo’s nameless lover, their relationshipbefore his famous conversion, and her life after his rise to fame. A tale of womanhood, faith, and class at the end of antiquity, The Confessions of X is more than historical fiction . . . it is a timeless story of love and loss in the shadow of a theological giant.


Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Augustine of Hippo, who lived from 354–430 C.E., was one of Christianity’s greatest thinkers, but his writings reveal that there was a woman whom he loved, never married, and never named. Now she comes to life, thanks to Wolfe’s novel, which puts flesh to the bones of this unknown woman. Readers will come to love this daughter of a mosaic layer, who chooses to become the concubine of a young teacher named Augustine. She bears him a son, whom they both love dearly. Augustine’s career takes them to Milan, but the desire to further that career forces the woman to make an impossible choice. Wolfe’s lyrical prose flows as softly as the sands of time in this tale that spans a lifetime. The woman from Augustine’s past—and Augustine’s mother, Monica—breathe here for perhaps the first time and inspire reflection on love and loss. A perfect book for history lovers, readers of Image magazine, which Wolfe helped found, and anyone looking for a stirring tale of love under wraps. (Feb.)

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