Joy Kogawa doesn't write easy books. Obasan jump-started the Japanese Canadian Redress movement and Itsuka documented the movement's battles, internal and external. Now Kogawa has taken on another leviathan: sexual abuse of children by clergymen. Her novel The Rain Ascends (Knopf) is Millicent's story, Millicent being a woman who finds out in middle age that her father, a beloved and respected Anglican priest, has been molesting young boys for many many years. Millicent is as horrified by the knowledge as everyone else—"How can I be sitting here in this sunny room? How is it that I am not rising out of my seat in revulsion?"—but she is perfectly conflicted. She knows her father and she loves him; the whole community knows and loves him; this knowledge and love have nourished Millicent all her life. Or so she thought. Family, love, faith, the evidence of her own senses—are they all lies? Has she been lying too? At first I saw Millicent's soul-searching as evidence of denial and passivity. But Kogawa's lucid, beautiful prose drew me in. With the utmost delicacy, she grapples with some of the worst messes we've got, and reminds the reader that while the details may change from person to person, from culture to culture, the questions of faith and forgiveness and moral choices are timeless.