Fetherhoughton is a dreary town in 1950s northern England. Father Angwin has lost his faith. Sister Philomena strains against convent life. The inhabitants of the town go about their lives in a haze. Then a stranger appears, bringing with him the hint of something new. But who is Fludd? An angel come to shake the dwellers from their stupor, or is he the devil himself, a wanderer of the darkest places in the human heart?
©1989 Hilary Mantel (P)2011 WF Howes Ltd
It's among the best.
It would be hard to pick a favourite among half a dozen sympathetic characters. I think perhaps the old priest, because he is so clever, kind and flawed.
In the dialogue, he differentiated among the various characters without caricaturing them. His reading was very sensitive and seemed to reveal things about the story and characters I had missed when I read the book myself a few years ago.
Alchemy meets Catholicism in the north of England ... but I don't think that would sell the movie very well.
Hilary Mantel is a wonderful writer.
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