A Whispered Name (unabridged audiobook)
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The legions of crime fans delighted by Father Anslem will welcome his return. --The Daily Mail
This is a remarkable novel, and puts Brodrick in the frame for prize-winning. --The Sunday Times
He has succeeded in telling a passionately human story about a most inhuman moment in history. --The Irish Times
A hugely moving and intelligent novel from the bestselling author of The Sixth Lamentation and The Gardens of the Dead, A Whispered Name reaches into the mysteries of one man's past and casts light on the long shadows war leaves behind. --This text refers to the Perfect Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
A mysterious visitor to the Larkwood monastery reveals and unknown aspect to the life of one of its oldest inhabitants, the founder of the monastery itself, Fr. Herbert Moore and his part in the sentencing of a young Irishman, Private Joseph Flanagan, charged with desertion during the battle for Passchendaele in 1917. Fr. Moore however is now dead, leaving the events and incomplete accounts of the incident shrouded in secrecy. What drove a young Irishman to fight alongside the English? Why did he risk an unknown, perhaps personal mission that could see him dishonoured and shot for desertion? And why are the pages of his trial containing the final judgement incomplete?
Caught up in complicated military legal procedures, the events distorted by unreliable and incomplete accounts, Anselm's investigation seems to be an impossible one, "looking for meaning in the one place it cannot be found". Yet this is precisely the strength of Brodrick's work. The writing is again brilliant, the author masterfully creating the conditions of the WWI trenches, but more than that, capturing the deeper complexities of memory and human behaviour caught up in exceptional circumstances.Read more ›
The events of "A Whispered Name" are set in the trenches of WW1 where a young Irishman Joseph Flanagan is facing execution for desertion. Some 70 years later Father Anselm researches the sad events leading up to this pitiful moment.
While the plot moves along at a gentle pace, the horror of war is starkly laid out. There are no bad guys, even the officers sending this poor chap to death are viewed in sympathetic light. What I loved about the story was the strong undercurrent of spirituality which seep through every paragraph, yet without preaching God and church, more about the reality of goodness and the search for what is right.
Brodrick has created a novel that is both tragic and heart warming, capturing the slaughter of WW1 and the search for peace of mind.
That argument for faith and religion have taken a battering of late - with Dawkins, the religious right, the battles in the vatican and CoE all persuading the intellect to steer well away, Broderick is reminding us that maybe we should think again.
The book follows Anselm's investigation into the wartime activities of his mentor, Father Herbert Moore. As well as depicting the horrors of the trenches and the mental and physical damage suffered by the soldiers, there is also a mystery element to the story. What led Joseph Flanagan to leave his home off the coast of Ireland to join the British Army, why did he commit a suicidal act of desertion, and just who is the mysterious woman who accosts Anselm in the cemetery and always seems to be one step ahead of his investigations?
Anselm's research reveals the almost slapdash process of courts martial during WW1, when shooting deserters was deemed necessary in order to maintain discipline and set an example. It also uncovers some shocking, but unfortunately not very surprising, facts including the disproportionate numbers of Irish and working class men who were shot for deserting their posts, for whatever reason. The book also deals with the lasting legacy of guilt and shame borne by those who were forced to carry out the death sentence on their comrades, which haunts them for the rest of their lives.
I remember really enjoying the first Father Anselm book, The Sixth Lamentation, but being disappointed in the follow-up, Gardens of the Dead. This is a great return to form; an informative, well written and very poignant story.
This is a masterly book, and one that kept me awake at night and left me reluctant for it to end. Not always an easy read, but a most satisfying one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is a truth universally acknowledged that any WWI story must feature an execution by firing squad and this one is no exception to that rule of narrative. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Viv
Only the 2nd Father Anselm book I've read and I will definitely read them all. This has to be the most moving and thought provoking book I've read about desertion in WW1. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Book chatter
An unusual concept of a WW1 detective novel written in present times. Such a sad and tragic story of deceit bravery bullying the down right brutality and futility of warfare. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Pixie
A most enjoyable read taking in a real feeling of misery and triumph. It's difficult to say too much without giving away the plotPublished 17 months ago by Nick
Father Anselm, a bee-keeping monk of Larkwood Monastery in Suffolk, receives two visitors who wish to see a now deceased monk, Herbert Moore. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Douglas Kemp