The Holy Family


a novel

Alan Michael Wilt

“The Holy Family is a rich and engrossing story, elegant and moving. Though it takes place on the epic stage of religious belief and disbelief, the drama itself is simple, humane, and ultimately devastating as the title’s twin meanings gradually come into focus. A unique and deeply satisfying read.”
—Dale McGowan, author, Parenting Beyond Belief

     This is a challenging December for Martin Halsey, a New York talent agent. Catholic faith was a key source of insight for Martin as a young man. But when puzzlement overtook insight, he chose atheism and gave his full commitment to his true passions—his work and family.

An acute tragedy, however, has caused Martin to reconsider his choice. In The Holy Family, Thanksgiving proceeds to Christmas as Martin revisits his evolution from belief to unbelief against the backdrop of his early faith, his marriage, career, and family, and a controversial painting of the Holy Family by his daughter Celia.

In the face of deep loss, Martin struggles with the question: Do I renew my faith and accept its promises, or stand firm with the sensual, finite love of a world without God?

Engaging and timely, The Holy Family ventures into contentious waters but transcends the shouting and welcomes the search.


‘When I got a copy of Alan Michael Wilt’s novel, The Holy Family, I wondered if I would be interested in reading it. At first I was merely intrigued by the title and the incongruous picture of a young girl’s blonde French braid on the cover. But from the first page I knew I had stumbled into a jewel of a book. I found myself reading and re-reading and putting stars by exquisite passages that took my breath away. Wilt begins by describing Marty Halsey’s battle with his Catholic faith–a religious upbringing that seemed to him to turn on dogma and rules versus the beauty and poetry of faith. The story follows Marty’s religious odyssey alongside the tender and breathtakingly sensual descriptions of his “courtship” and marriage to Justine Damont, the artist, the atheist, the loving and charming wife, and the devoted mother of their two daughters. Early on, you understand that Marty and Justine have suffered a horrible loss and are trying to “hold it together” for each other. I found myself simultaneously wanting the details of their loss and yet dreading the details I knew I would be given. I was also afraid that a too-neat resolution would end this story and make me sorry I went for the ride. Instead, what I got was a pitch-perfect ending to a deeply moving and thought-provoking story of love and of faith in “the beauty and poetry” of human emotions. Read the book, tell your friends; this novel deserves a wide audience.’ –Larry Baker, author, The Flamingo Rising

This is one of the most incredible novels I have read in a very long time. I get 2-3 books a week from authors wanting me to read and maybe review. I can only do justice to a very few, but this one captured me from page one. It is titled, The Holy Family by Alan Michael Wilt. Don’t let the title deceive you. This is an emotional journey worth experiencing. I can’t say I have ever been so moved by a novel in my life. I have read my share, but I am not that into fiction. The long and short of it is this, if you are a freethinker or atheist, this book will really challenge you. If you are a religionist, it will give you perspectives you probably have not considered. Whether you are a current or former Catholic, Protestant or Evangelical, you will relate to key parts of this book. If you are a parent you may be especially moved by the story. This is a book about life, sex, love, religion and death and how they all weave together in our lives. If I could give it more than 5 STARS I would. –Darrel Ray, author of Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality and The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture

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Available at bookstores everywhere as well–ask them to order it via their usual wholesale channels.

Media: To request a review copy, please contact Bob Todd Publicity at

222 pages, 5.5 x 8.5
ISBN: 978-0-9883727-0-2 (paperback) $14.95
ISBN: 978-0-9883727-1-9 (digital) $6.99


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