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Father Angwin, Fetherhoughton's disbelieving priest, has--much to the displeasure of his superiors--grown comfortable with the entrenched, misapprehending devoutness of his flock. Fludd, who may or may not be the curate sent to deliver the wayward, exerts an immediate, if unexpected, influence. He intrigues the townspeople, flusters the church's gaggle of nuns, kindles a welcome self-examination in Father Angwin, and arouses the passion of the young and yearning Sister Philomena. A charge of possibility suddenly animates the village, accompanied by several incidents that seem midway between coincidence and miracle. Fludd, however, remains beset by an insistent disillusionment--his clarity, it seems, arcs outward only.
Mantel's cramped and pliant village is a marvel. Fetherhoughton "wrestles not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world," insists the dour headmistress, Mother Perpetua. A local tobacconist, not so trivially, just might be the devil in human garb. Fludd's gift lies in unearthing all the lovely and fearsome truths buried just beneath the surface. "The frightening thing is that life is fair," he observes, "but what we need... is not justice but mercy." The fruits of this conviction, in Fetherhoughton, are rebellion, self-assertion, and even scandal; but Mantel's lovely tale suggests that difficult possibility is fair compensation for a sloughed predictability. --Ben Guterson
always a fan of Hilary Mantel but disappointed in this bookPublished 26 days ago by Donna B. Loeffler
Having read and loved the Cromwell novels: Wolfe Hall and Bring Up the Bodies -- I immediately rushed to read everything else Mantel had written. I made a mistake. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Diane S
Love Hilary Mantel for her intelligence and superb writing style.Published 4 months ago by Margaret French
Another unusual book from one of my favourite authors, Hilary Mantel. Like most of her other books, you need to read it slowly to enjoy the use of language and the dark... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mr Terry Hourihan
A friend recommended this to me as we both wait for the last installment of the Wolf Hall trilogy. It makes a bleak place -- all to close, as I understand, to her own experience... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Joseph W. Trigg
Even though this book is quite different to her other historically based books, I couldn't put this book down.
Hilary Mantel always satisfies.
With Fludd, Mantel reveals a kinship with Muriel Spark - the ability to crawl under the skin of an isolated community (in this case an entwined collection of isolated communities)... Read morePublished 7 months ago by PadmaPriya