Stafford Betty unforgettably evokes ancient South India’s villages, cities, palaces, wars, famines, Satis, tribes, castes, gods, beasts, her mountainous jungles and fishing coasts and rich rice plains, her steamy climate, and her traditions about St. Thomas that are still a vital part of Christian life in Kerala today. He recreates the opulent life of the court in fabled Puhar, long ago swallowed by the sea, and describes the historic Battle of Venni in horrifying detail. He imaginatively presents through flashbacks the critical events in the story of Jesus and Thomas in faraway Judaea. He gives valuable insight into Hinduism’s historic resistance to Christianity. He even sets the table for a reconciliation of sorts between the two faiths.
Readers who love Dostoyevsky are likely to love The Severed Breast. The way it weaves together high adventure and timeless spirituality is extraordinary and important for our time.
“I've finished your wonderful book. You did a masterful job… imagining Thomas and imagining him in India. And the ending was truly suspenseful and powerful. The book surprised me to no end with its genuine and relentless representation of religion, spirituality and humanity… A very fine novel of deep religious feeling. Amazing!”
~ Tim Vivian, Professor of Religious Studies, California State University, Bakersfield
“The author introduces a vivid cast of characters from every estate: royals, beggars, the rich and powerful, the weak and the lowly. These characters leap off the page in Betty’s fascinating tale.”
~ Joseph R. Preville, Assistant Professor of English, Alfaisal University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia