"Always trust a stranger," said David's mother when he returned from Rome. "Its the people you know who let you down."
Half a life later, David is Father Anderton, a Catholic priest with a small parish in Scotland. He befriends Mark and Lisa, rebellious local teenagers who live in a world he barely understands. Their company stirs memories of earlier happinesshis days at a Catholic school in Yorkshire, the student revolt in 1960s Oxford, and a choice he once made in the orange groves of Rome. But their friendship also ignites the suspicions and smoldering hatred of a town that resents strangers, and brings Father David to a reckoning with the gathered tensions of past and present.
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Starred Review: "This burnished gem of a novel has drama, emotional resonance and intellectual power enough to recall one's favorite 19th century writers." - PW.
"Starred Review. [A] rich and fascinating novel that promises rewards with rereading." - Booklist.
"The most minor characters are drawn with truth and complexity, and O'Hagan's prose is stylistically dazzling, as crafted and lovely as the best poetry." - Library Journal.
"O'Hagan's accomplished prose and casual wit counterbalance his abstraction, aided by fine character portraits, especially that of an intellectually acute but isolated soul condemned by his own fallibility." - Kirkus.
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Andrew O'Hagan is a contributing editor to the London Review of Books and Ganta magazine. His first novel, Our Fathers (1999) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction and the Whitbread First Novel Award.
In 2003 he was nominated by Granta magazine as one of 20 Best of Young British Novelist.
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