This short novel by Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder (originally titled _Vita Brevis_ -- "Life Is Short") purports to contain the translation of a lengthy 5th century letter to St. Augustine from his former mistress, Floria Aemilia. Long after their 12 years of cohabitation and parenting of a son in Africa, and their subsequent separation, she writes to him about their past, her feelings, and his ultimate choice of asceticism. The book has little narrative, but succinctly confront the clash of spiritual vs. sensual, faith vs. life, the love of humans vs. the love of God -- not to mention the nagging issue of what happened to the woman who appears so briefly but vividly in Augustine's _Confessions_.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus