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An enthralling story of love and betrayal, faith and doubt, and the bewildered striving of men and women confronted with the mystery of being human. "Full of the rough-and-tumble, the real life, the spirit ... I was at all times firmly in its grip."--Anatole Broyard, The New York times book review. "Murdoch works with an intellectual daring most writers only dream of."--The Philadelphia inquirer. Charismatic thinker and healer Marcus Vallar is missing. Everyone agrees he must be found, especially his ardent but uncertain young disciple, Alfred Ludens, who believes Vallar has discovered a secret of vital importance to mankind. Vallar is also needed to rescue Patrick Fenman, a penniless Irish poet who is dying of a disease that he believes is the result of a curse Vallar has put on him. When Vallar miraculously cures Patrick with a laying on of hands, he sets in motion the tide of events that touches an ever-widening circle of men and women, including his own daughter.

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