Friday, September 18, 2009
A WHISPERED NAME
TITLE: A WHISPERED NAME
AUTHOR: WILLIAM BRODERICK
Details: no. 3 Father Anselm Mystery
It’s been a while since I took five days to read a book of less than 350 pages. This book was worth every minute of it though. It contains a story that demands the reader’s full attention, a history that deserves reflecting upon, written in a language that is sensitive, descriptive and at times heartbreakingly beautiful.
When two strangers come to Larkwood monastery asking about Father Herbert, who has died, and events that took place during WW I, they deeply upset Father Anselm and the rest of the monastic community. They find themselves facing a part of Herbert’s life they never knew existed, a history that might shatter all they thought they knew about Herbert, a man they loved, trusted and admired.
And so, Anselm starts an investigation into the past and the events that took place in the late summer of 1917. Events that lead to the court-martial of an Irish soldier for desertion, with Herbert being on the panel that convicted the man. And event that profoundly touched Herbert, and changed him forever.
This is not a mystery in the conventional sense of the genre, and all the more intriguing for it.
With the story alternating between Anselm’s investigation in the present and Herbert’s experiences in the past, a horrific picture of war is painted, as well as a touching story of human compassion and selflessness.
A wonderful and deeply moving book.