I discovered Luanne Rice only early this year, and SANDCASTLES was the first of her books that I read. I liked it so much that I started backtracking, reading all of her books. She has become one of my favorite writers, although there are some early books that I don't care for too much (ANGELS ALL OVER TOWN for one). However, WHAT MATTERS MOST is the Luanne Rice book I'll be talking about with everyone I know. The characters are delightful...as a Catholic with Irish roots, I felt a connection with the passion, loyalty, friendship, and love of these Irish characters. The intensity of their love for one another, the conflicting emotions of a nun whose femininity and human heart are revealed in ways many Catholics don't want to see or have been too indoctrinated in tradition to realize...powerful, emotional, heartrending stuff here. I couldn't put the book down, I could hardly see the last 30 or so pages through my tears, and I find myself dreaming of the characters as if they were real. As someone who grapples with the validity of certain mysticism in the Catholic tradition myself, I found that my mind was opened to the possibility of a faith that enormous and a heart that open. I am so impressed with Luanne Rice and WHAT MATTERS MOST that I plan to buy this book for all the women in my large, Irish Catholic family.