Book Reviews by Rachel Murphy

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The End of the Affair

It is in a night in 1946, a black wet January night that our narrator, Maurice Bendrix—whose very name implies something bent, slanted—wants to draw his reader to in order to begin his tale, which, in his words, is a record of hate far more than of love. He begins with the sight of Henry Miles slanting across the wide river of rain. Slanting; bent. Flaunting his own professional pride as a writer to, as he supposes, prefer the near-truth even to the expression of my near-hate, Bendrix—and Greene—have set us a puzzle about the questionable reliability of our nar...

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A Tale of Two Cities

Having become more and more taken—indeed, obsessed—by Dickens over the past couple of years, I felt rather guilty about not having read this famous work, which seemed to have been standard fare for most high school students and which is now, unfortunately, replaced by Great Expectations—another comparatively shorter work of Dickens, which is more conventionally Dickensian, but also a less intriguing story. A Tale of Two Citiesis Dickens at his best, his most focused.

With a book which has arguably the most famous first and last lines in all of English literature (though...

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Diary of a Country Priest

“Mine is a parish like all the rest."

This novel, small and unassuming, catches one off-guard: the perceptive country Curé, in the opening pages of his diary, speaks of the “stale discouragement” of his small parish; of loneliness; of parishioners who are “bored stiff”; of a “cancerous growth.” And from the first this small, quiet French village and parish of Ambricourt takes on a universal character: the village is the world, in miniature.

 

At first t...

Catholic, Ink.

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Catholic, Ink.

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Sign-up for this free weekly e-newsletter and receive the free article - "What is Catholic Fiction?" Read the weekly column The Catholic Imagination and You and more.