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Unseen Things Above Paperback – 18 Jun 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Lindchester Series

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Frequently bought together

  • Unseen Things Above
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  • Realms of Glory: (Lindchester Chronicles 3)
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  • Acts and Omissions: (Lindchester Chronicles 1)
Total price: £25.42
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Marylebone House (18 Jun. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1910674230
  • ISBN-13: 978-1910674239
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

'What a treat it is to have some Fresh Expressions from the diocese of Lindchester. Catherine Fox's second helping of bad language, sex and Evensong is Anglicanism at its best; her wit, compassion and rueful optimism are irresistible.' --Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church, University of Oxford

'Catherine Fox unfailingly produces novels which are witty, compassionate, perceptive and illuminating about the human beings who relate in one way or another to the Church of England's habits and inheritance. She provokes us to enjoy it all in ways we can never anticipate!' --Ann Loades CBE, Professorial Fellow, St Chad's College, Durham

'Catherine Fox is a startlingly good writer, teller of a riveting tale that is at once warm-hearted and cool-brained, funny and heart-aching. I could not stop reading her, and every day longed to go to bed to read more.' --- Maggie Gee, novelist and Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University

'If you want to understand the Church of England in the twenty-first century not just its official persona but its more elusive inner character Catherine Fox is a reliable guide. Her colourful morality tales spare no one's blushes, but she writes with accuracy and affection about an institution to which, despite its flaws, she is profoundly committed as a witness to faith, hope and love. Hugely enjoyable.' --Michael Sadgrove, Dean of Durham

Review

'Brims with wit and heart, acknowledging the awkwardness and consolations of Anglicanism in the twenty-first century. Hugely entertaining and highly recommended.' (Richard Beard, author of Lazarus is Dead)

Acts and Omissions is brave and beautiful, devastatingly honest, mercilessly funny, fundamentally kind.'

(Dr Margaret Masson, Vice-Principal, St Chad’s College, Durham)

UNSEEN Things Above by Catherine Fox (Marylebone House, £9.99) is the sequel to "Acts and Omissions"
published last year. At the end of the previous volume we left the good folk of the cathedral close at Lindchester to their preparations for Christmas. We now rejoin the plot and find ourselves skipped forward to April and the diocese continues to be in crisis and the cathedral continues to be in a state of agitation.

Troublesome
Who shall be the new bishop? Will the troubled and troublesome Freddy May ever settle down and must the cathedral really give him a job? Will the archdeacon marry his lovely Jane? Will Ed get to marry his lovely Neil? Will Bishop Harry have a nervous breakdown before he has a heart attack? Will the bishop's chaplain ever get over himself? Will the Church of England get over its alleged institutional homophobia? Will the Church of England ever consecrate a woman bishop? Oh my goodness, so much trauma and tribulation, it could only be the Church! This is a book in which, while well-written as ever, the dialogue does get somewhat drowned out by the noise of grinding axes. Do not misunderstand me, the issues addressed are important issues of justice and it is right that they are addressed. However, where in the previous volume the issues ran alongside the story, in this book the issues have become the story.

Required
Fox tells of the church in which couples living in a same-sex civil partnership are required to remain celibate and uses the opportunity for the archdeacon to enter into a civil partnership with his opposite-sex partner
in New Zealand to highlight a point of hypocrisy. She pushes further in reminding the reader that it is now legal for same-sex couples to be married and yet Fr Ed is forbidden by the Church from marrying his same sex partner. In both of these instances, the partners of the clergy who find themselves in such a bind are lay people and neither are all that enamoured by the Church. Some interesting dialogue ensues as Jane and Neil harangue their partners about their experience of a church which encroaches into parts of life which angels
may fear to tread! This is a good book and well worth reading. It would be easy for us Methodists to gloat at the predicament of the Church of England and say that such things would not happen in our Church, but we would be wrong to do so.

Topic
The issues are live issues and are going to be the topic of consideration across the Connexion over coming months. Yes, it's a novel, but it is one which helps put flesh on the bones of discussion and conflict that is already out there.

(The Rev Dr Adrian Burdon Methodist Recorder)

Janet Beer, vice-chancellor, University of Liverpool, has some seasonal advice for readers. "Unsure what to buy the Trollope devotee in your life for Christmas? Look no further than Catherine Fox's Acts and Omissions (SPCK, 2014) and Unseen Things Above (Marylebone House, 2015) for a refresher course not only in cathedral politics, but also a set of profound, although lightly drawn, insights into the contemporary Anglican communion. This is not pastiche: Fox's voice is not Trollope's, it is her own - witty, meddling, compassionate - and in this last regard she most resembles her predecessor. The men and women of the church in Fox's world go about their professional and personal lives much as the rest of us do. They are susceptible to temptation, and to the odd bit of inappropriate behaviour, but in the main their stories are compelling because the ethical dilemmas that afflict us all from time to time are their daily bread but exotic fare for most readers. (Janet Beer The Times High Education)

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