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A very moving WW1 novel
on 19 December 2008
This is the first William Brodrick Novel I've read and I've discovered a wonderful and moving writer.
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.