Fludd by Hilary Mantel

A nicely crafted little novel. It tells the story of a mysterious priest who comes to stay in a remote Yorkshire village at a time when doubt besets the Catholic congregation and their own, local, priest.

I went to a Catholic school and I suspect some background knowledge of the weirdness and absurdity of the Catholic faith enhances the reader’s enjoyment. It is a funny book, with an amusing twist at the end. The narrative is self contained (deliberately, I am sure) and, in that sense, timeless. It does not draw on external events, either of a historical or contextual kind.

But it is short and easy to read, with a nice style. I enjoyed it more than A Place of Greater Safety, which was a bit long-winded for my taste.


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