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You live in a quaint, if a little busybody, Irish hamlet, a beauty swept off her feet by a much older man, marrying in your well-earned white dress. 15, 20 years pass, your life is humdrum, sort of nice with your much older husband but your clock is ticking and his dock ain't kicking.
A very distinguished, intriguing, attractive foreign (perhaps Russian) doctor/chiropractor in his early 40s moves into town, renting a room near your art shop. He subtly suggests that you look like you need a lover. Your biological clock starts to wind in the corner of your mind, and you seek a child with this man, a child your husband cannot give you.
Weeks/months pass by and you become pregnant despite knowing now of a few negative character traits. One day government agents blow into this little village to make a highly publicized arrest of the most wanted Serbian war criminal (think, Milosevic, Karadzic).
PapaDaddy is, as it turns out, the Prince of Darkness, Beëlzebub in the body, Father of Lies in the flesh, Author of Evil, the Old Serpent.
The novel blasts with double-barrels, driven by morally difficult questions and, to my mind, unloading on some leaders in the Catholic Church as, at best, judgmental and indifferent to humanity and not at all worthy of reflecting the Redeemer, or, worse, complicit in abetting such a monstrous castigation that even Lucifer would have to look away. Ms. O'Brien has never shied away from criticizing or offending the Catholic Church of her Ireland.
Warning: this book contains one of the most diabolical and horrendous acts of sexual violence against a female in all literature, at least that I've read.
23 of 26 people found this review helpful
...could create this novel in all its devastating beautiy. An artistic triumph brought to life in this production. An unsettling and haunting tale that tears open the heart --as powerful and eternal and full of wisdom as the verse of Rumi.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful