Book Reviews
Fludd: Hilary Mantel
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on Fludd: Hilary Mantel
Fludd: Hilary Mantel

A new Father arrives in a small Catholic community headed by a priest who no longer believes in God. Nearby is a convent of delightfully flawed nuns and a village whose inhabitants are mostly Protestant with whom the villagers are in conflict. Fludd has been sent, supposedly by the bishop, to shake things up and bring the villagers into the twentieth century, and from the very beginning one senses that things will certainly change, although not in the way the bishop intends.

Hilary Mantel writes like a dream: the characters are all beautifully drawn and marvellously human, the prose a delight and the end totally satisfying.

A deliciously witty and anarchic read, with the mystical Fludd retaining just the right amount of mystery at the end. This book reminded me of Mr Weston’s Good Wine by T.F. Powys, largely forgotten now, but worth reading for its strangeness, which must have been even more marked at the time of publication. This is faster-paced and less puzzling, although there’s certainly much food for thought between the covers.

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