“I come to have my soul cared for, my values refreshed, my heart opened.” That’s what Dana Potowski—the voice of best-selling author Michelle Huneven in her novel, Search—wants the next minister for her Unitarian Universalist congregation to conjure. Will the search committee, of which she’s a member, ferret out such a miracle worker? There’s no telling, not by this Featured Book herald!
But this can, and is being said: “[T[he story that develops…is miraculously engaging” [The Washington Post]; it offers “a master class in group dynamics” [Minneapolis StarTribune]; “The…vetting process…is truly gripping” [Wilmington, MA, Apple]; and the search committee’s “task is ‘a sacred process’…though it’s more like a food fight” [Los Angeles Times].
As critic Ron Charles notes in his Post review, “[T]here is something refreshingly candid and transparent about Search,” maybe because Huneven “once served on [such] a search committee”? “Yes,” the author declares in the preface, “this is a memoir of a real experience. It is not fiction.” So it is that the StarTribune’s Laurie Hertzel insists that “what it’s really about, what makes it so enthralling, is human nature”. What’s more, she adds, “[I]t is laced, too, with plenty of wisdom.”
By Michelle Huneven
Penguin Press, 2022