THE unrelentingly negative review by V J Neike of a biography of St Therese in your issue of January 29 is in my view unjust.
The author, Pere Guy Gaucher, has worked on the writings of St Therese since 1968 as a member of the team preparing a centenary edition of all her writings in their original, authentic form.
Since he wrote the biography, Guy Gaucher has been appointed co-adjutor Bishop of Bayeux but he still lives near the Carmel in Lisieux where his presence is valued for the seminars and retreats offered to pilgrims there.
In October 1986 I was privileged to work in Lisieux as a guide to the pilgrims. The biography was newly-published in French and I found it a great help in explaining many events of the saint's life to make her more "real" for the pilgrims.
At that time Pere Gaucher was giving a retreat to Carmelite novices, both monks and sisters, from all over France and one young Dutch postulant relayed to me enthusiastically what he was telling them.
Since returning to New Zealand I have been glad to see the English translation available, and I recommend it to anyone who wants an understanding of the "ordinary" life of St Therese, the many details she does not explain fully in her own letters and autobiography.
Mary O'Neill (Miss) 6 City Road, Dunedin, New Zealand