It’s counter-intuitive, I know, blogging about someone else’s novel on my own author website.
But having just finished reading my Christmas gift of ‘Acts and Omissions’ by Catherine Fox, I just HAD to recommend it.
Not to everyone: if you’re offended by gay sex or bad language, then avoid it (though there’s not a huge amount of either). Its liberal Anglican view of the world is a great antidote to the stories of extremism that currently fill our news media, but I’m not sure if those who know nothing of the Anglican church would get as much out of it as I did.
But for everyone else: this is a sharply funny, acutely observed and ultimately warm and profound book. With the lightest of touches – and echoes of Trollope – it deals with questions of guilt, failure, love and spirituality, in the imaginary diocese of Lindchester with its varied cast of clergy, all of whom are depicted with affection and sympathy. You want to know what happens to them all, and satisfyingly all the loose ends are more or less tied up by the conclusion of the book.
I was fascinated to learn that the author brought this book out in the modern version of serial form, through her blog (she has a sequel more or less complete: catherine-fox.blogspot.co.uk ). I don’t think I could write that way, but it certainly seems to have worked for her.
Most of my bed-time reading, however good, sends me to sleep eventually. Not this book, because I wanted too much to know what happened next – but it did enable me to go to sleep at last with a smile on my face.