The Father and the Son, by Matthew N. Murray, and The View from a Monastery, by Brother Benet Tvedten

When Matt Murray is 13 years old, his mother, a gifted writer and an unconventional Catholic, dies. His father, an official in the Washington, D.C., city government, suddenly changes jobs. He functions poorly as a single parent, and the family, a sister and two brothers, begins to drift apart.