Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Be Near Me by Andrew O'Hagan


From Goodreads

In a small Scottish parish, an English priest is stalked by the fear of scandal, class hatred and lost ideals. As he looks back on his childhood, Father David begins to reconsider the central events of his life, and to see what may have happened to the political hopes of his generation.

My thoughts

I was lent this book by a friend.  It's not a book or Author that I've heard of before, neither is it one that I'd have picked up to read by reading the synopsis.  Having said all that though I quite enjoyed it, if that's the right thing to say.

The book tells the story of a Roman Catholic priest called Father David, living in a Scottish parish.  Some of the story surrounding his earlier life takes place in and around Lancashire not far from where I live, so was quite interesting in that respect and being Roman Catholic it also had that link to me too. 

Father David in some ways came across as a rather innocent fella who liked to befriend the younger parishioner, which in many ways turned out to be rather a foolish thing to do and as the story unfolds you'll find out why.  His actions at times are rather reckless and had me wondering whether it was a practice that priests would enter into.  The subject matter at times is rather taboo and deals with the celibacy of Father David and relationships that he shouldn't pursue. 

I did enjoy the relatonship between Father David and his housekeeper which at times did appear to be a little strained but in the latter part of the book he appears to warm to her during her illness.

Well written, this is a slow burner of a story and at times I found it a quirky read.  It shows how easily certain situations and actions can be so easily misconsrtued.

I gave this 7/10.

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