Thursday, October 23, 2014

FLUDD by Hilary Mantel

Buried Saints

Fludd by Hilary Mantel
This is my first reading experience with Hilary Mantel. I can’t honestly say that I started with this book because I’m hesitant with her many famous books. I guess I wanted to feel her first -get acquainted- before I fully dig in. You did that once (or twice) too, right?

I’m happy to let you know that I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I enjoyed this book a lot. The story was peculiar and twisted, but also amusing even in its most piercing narration.

The story revolves around Fludd, an unusual priest newly arrived at Fetherhoughton. From the moment he entered the rectory doors, a change was felt. The church community had no trouble accepting him into their fold; they seemed oblivious to his enigmatic features and strange behaviors. But one thing is for sure, his actions are contagious and the ripple will not miss an arc.

Deep within her, behind her cardigan and her blouse and her petticoat trimmed with scratchy nylon lace, behind her interlock vest and freckled skin, Miss Dempsey sensed a slow movement, a tiny spiral shift of matter, as if, at the very moment the curate spoke, a change had occurred: a change so minute as to baffle description, but rippling out, in its effect, to infinity.

As I understand it, this book does not criticize Catholicism. In fact, having a good comprehension of religion makes the story and the questions presented here more relevant. Mantel brought the reader in a world spellbinding even in its dullness, drowning from its catastrophic foolishness, and yet vindicated for their faith.

Not all forms of love are comprehensible, and some forms of love destroy what they touch.

The story is a knot of ignorant parishioners, an unrepentant tobacconist, a high-handed bishop, an atheist priest, and vicious nuns. Humorous and symbolic. I believe I am ready for another Hilary Mantel novel.

Book details:
Title:  Fludd
Author:  Hilary Mantel
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
Publication: June 2000
Genre:  Fiction
Rating:  ★★★


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