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Customer Review

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ghosts, Christians and Druids, 6 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Time's Legacy (Hardcover)
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Abi Rutherford is assigned to a parish in Cambridge to work with the charismatic Kieran. But it quickly becomes clear that the two cannot work together. Abi offers her resignation to the Bishop when Kier accuses her of witchcraft and summoning demons when they both hear music and see a ghostly congregation in the church. The Bishop is reluctant to lose Abi and offers her a retreat to an old manor house near Glastonbury owned by Mat and Cal. It seems Abi has nothing to do but rest, pray and consider what she wants to do with her future. But she has brought some of the past with her in the shape of the mysterious Serpent Stone left to her by her mother. Abi is also attuned to the local ghosts and she falls under the spell of Glastonbury and the surrounding countryside.

What follows is a tense and complicated story which reveals some of the events which happened in the area 2000 years ago. Christianity meets Druidism and pagan religions head on in this tense and exciting story. Abi's attempts to reconcile her own beliefs and what she sees of the spirit world make enthralling reading; but it is not just the ghosts of the distant past whom she needs to understand but those of her own past as well and her life seems to be in danger when the unstable Kier tracks her down to her retreat.

There are some fascinating characters in this story - Abi herself; Ben the sensible and erudite clergyman and his brother Justin a Druid and expert on Glastonbury itself; then there's Athena who runs a shop selling crystals and her own handmade jewellery who befriends Abi. The struggle to reconcile Christianity with other belief systems, or with none at all, is very much a story of our times. The interweaving of the modern story with the events of the past which still cast a shadow is as ever skilfully achieved by Barbara Erskine.

This book is a little different from some of her previous novels in that the heroine is a Church of England vicar but it is every bit as good as this author's previous work. Her many fans will love it and it may win her new admirers. If you like Phil Rickman's Merrily Watkins series of Susan Howatch's Starbridge novels you will enjoy this book. I loved it and couldn't put it down though I didn't want to reach the end and was sorry when I turned the last page.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Jun 2010 20:01:26 BDT
Jane 1923 says:
I agree that if you like Phil Rickman and Susan Howatch this book may appeal but it does not match either series.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2010 08:25:36 BDT
Damaskcat says:
I was merely suggesting that if people liked those two authors they might well enjoy this book. I wasn't suggesting it was better/worse/as good as those two authors, just that it might appeal to people who enjoy those two wuthors.
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Damaskcat
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   

Location: UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 91