Rob Berger sits in a pew of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Alphonso Basilone's single pall-covered casket before the altar clothes him thinly with a disturbing, fearful sense of smallness and loneliness. As the casket moved up the aisle, he had remembered a promise that Alphonso and he had made to each other. The one who survived was to tell the story--the story of the sometimes tormented, often troubled, but finally faithful journey of two people, one to become a Methodist minister, the other a Catholic cleric.
The story begins in the 1950s in a Pennsylvania town called Steepleton. Rob's account is far more than a reminder of the present revival of old issues and old prejudices. Instead, Wonder Clearing, through the experience of the characters, presents an alternative way of living. Political issues including immigration, civil rights, and discrimination parallel the experiences of Rob and Alphonso. They also face issues of sexual exploitation and orientation. But they face those issues and their own personal struggles through the caring and inclusive mission of "wonder." Inevitably, through the winning lives of Rob and Alphonso, readers will be touched by "wonder."