A suggestion for ‘paired reading’

January 6, 2018 at 9:12 pm (Book review, books)

 

I found Robert Harris’s inside-the-Vatican scenario as engrossing as any thriller I’ve read lately. This should not have surprised me; Harris is a master at generating suspense through creative use of setting and the placement therein of believable characters operating under duress.

Thomas Kenneally employs similar techniques to great effect in Crimes of the Father. This novel tackles head-on the exposure of cases of abuse by priests and the subsequent action (or lack of same) undertaken by the church. This will be a sensitive subject for many people, and they may or may not agree with the way in which Thomas Kenneally has handled this material.

Kenneally has placed a four-page Author’s Note ahead of the novel’s text. In it, he reveals that he was raised Catholic and attended seminary for a period, but upon realizing his unsuitability for the priest’s vocation, dropped out.

I just want to say a few more things about Crimes of the Father. The writing is excellent; I loved the conversations between  and among the various dramatis personae. The story is mainly told through the eyes of Father Frank Docherty. This is an entirely believable man – not just believable, but human and vulnerable, as assailed by doubts as are the rest of us, in this life. Above all he is a person of genuine integrity. He is a gentle Irishman by heritage, with an Irish sense of humor that’s never exercised at someone else’s expense. You may have been lucky enough in your life to know someone like him, either in the clergy or in some other walk of life.

******************
For more on paired reading, click on the post entitled “The Pleasures of Paired Reading.”

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Rose Johnson said,

    I Googled the churches and halls, rooms and gardens in the Vatican as I read Conclave. It really added to the experience. The plot, characters and setting read like a mystery. A “who will do it” (be pope) sort of tension.The story galloped along, adding more intrigue and rising action of who will be ekected and eligible to be Pope. Now, you’ve given me another title to consider. Thanks, R.R.

    • Roberta Rood said,

      Rose, What a wise & creative way you found to read CONCLAVE. I really enjoyed that book. Truth be told, I was thinking about you while I was reading CRIMES OF THE FATHER too. I’d be interested in your reaction to it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: