Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Fludd by Hilary Mantel

A New Broom
review by Maryom

The small parish of Fetherhoughton is about to brought up to date. The Bishop has decided that Father Angwin, the local priest, is too old and set in his ways. that the Church needs to move with the times and catch up with the 1950s and modern ways. Among other measures, the Bishop suggests that maybe a young curate would be of assistance so when mysterious stranger Fludd arrives, all assume that's who he is.

If you thought all Hilary Mantel's novels were as long as Wolf Hall, think again! Fludd is a short humorous tale (just under 200 pages) in some ways reminiscent of Cold Comfort Farm. The enigmatic new curate breezes into the village in the way Flora Poste does, bringing with him a breath of fresh air and tantalising glimpses of the possibilities that exist in the great world outside Fetherhoughton.

In a comparatively small space, Mantel creates amazing 'stay with you' characters - the elderly priest now merely going through the forms of worship, Mother Perpetua who rules the convent with a rod of iron yet flirts with priests, the young nun striving for something more fulfilling than her dreary existence and even, in the very few lines given to her, the nun's 'man-mad' aunt.

I picked this book up through Bookcrossing and it's been sitting waiting on the TBR pile for a while - too long really, I wish I'd read it sooner. I also have An Experiment In Love waiting to be read and after enjoying Fludd so much, I'm tempted to push it up the pile.

Maryom's review - 4.5 stars
Publisher - HarperCollins
Genre -
adult fiction

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