Father Junípero’s Confessor: A Novel

A novel of Mission-era piety and fanaticism

Led by the zealous Fray Junípero Serra to the fringes of the Spanish Empire in the mid-1700s, Franciscan missionaries Francisco Palóu and Juan Crespí are as fervid as their master about the opportunity posed by Alta California: to gloriously swell the kingdom of God through conversion—consensual or forced—of the native people. As Crespí and our sensitive but bitterly envious narrator, Palóu, vie for Serra’s fickle favor, a chain of their newly established missions creeps north up the fog-enshrouded coast from Mexico. A master stylist and a meticulous researcher, Nick Taylor vividly captures the atmosphere of early California as he dramatizes the politics of the era: the horrifying and tragic gaps in understanding between priests and natives; the vicious power plays between crown and church; and the fervor, ambition, and desperation that fueled European settlement of the region. This novel’s publication coincides with the celebration of the 300th anniversary of Junípero Serra’s birth.

PRAISE for Nick Taylor’s The Disagreement:

“This wonderfully nuanced story of human strengths and foibles is not your typical retelling of Civil War–era medicine, ineffective as it was, but rather a sensitive look at a young man’s accelerated journey to adulthood...In his debut, Taylor captures the manners, mores and language of the era, sweeping the reader back in time.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune


“A remarkable novel...the characters are vivid, the dialogue real and the story is compelling and moving.”

The Daily American


The Disagreement is powerfully entertaining and moving, and Tay- lor captures the period nicely without burdening readers with showy displays of his hard-earned research.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch

About the Author

Nick TaylorNick Taylor’s debut novel, The Disagreement (Simon & Schuster), won the 2009 Michael Shaara Prize for Excellence in Civil War Fiction. A graduate of the M.F.A. program at the University of Virginia, Taylor is currently an assistant professor of English and comparative literature at San Jose State University.