Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley
My favorite church in Montreal, if not the whole world, is Norte-Dame-de-Bon-Secours. In part, it is because of the life of its founder, but there is a simplicity in the chapel as well that makes the faith more secure, solid, physical. It’s true that it lacks something that the grand Notre Dame of Montreal has – the stunning ceiling. The Notre Dame ceiling is like a night sky, and it helps to make the interior of the building stunning. One does wonder, periodically, how many people actually notice it.
Luckily, we have Catherine McCormack’s excellent book to make up the difference. This beautiful edition contains stunning photographs as well as brief history and information about the various places included in the book. The longest section of text is the introduction, which includes a discussion of the absence of women artists.
The book is divided into different sections based on the purpose of the various buildings. The sections are Religion, Culture, Power, and Politics. The power section is primary royal residences, and culture includes theaters and museums
It is to McCormack’s credit that the book is varied in the various places. While some might quibble about the various choices, McCormack choses a good variety of places that are from far more than Europe. The religion section in particular includes far more than Christianity, which is nice. But I think the best inclusion was the Metro Stations of Sweden, a nice choice of something that many people would have totally ignored.