Crimes of the Father by Thomas Keneally

Review published on May 19, 2017.

When I started to read this book, I was unsure that I would be able to finish it. Not because of its subject, abuse by Priests of the Catholic Church involving young teenage girls and boys and how it affected their lives, but I found it a bit long-winded and seemed to take me a long time to actually get involved with the storyline, for the characters to actually come together.

It is a delicate subject to write about and on reflection I understand why it needed a lot of backgrounding of the main characters. Not that many, luckily, so it wasn’t a case of being confused by an overwhelming number of characters to keep tabs on, but it did keep devoting various chapters to the main characters, setting out their lives through a number of years in each chapter. By half way through the book, it came together as a story, for me, and I was on the journey with them, needing to see it through to the bitter end.

It was not an unpleasant read; on reflection, I feel I enjoyed the book more when I had finished it than while I was actually reading it! It was delicately expressed, but not my type of subject for relaxation. It would certainly give a book-club plenty of areas to discuss at great length.

Lindsay Nichols 3/4

Crimes of the Father by Thomas Keneally
Sceptre 9781473625365 hbk Jun 2017

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