The Translation of the Bones

This book was recommended by a friend who knows my literary tastes often better than I do myself. Does that make sense? Oh well, you know what I mean.

This is a quiet, understated book about faith and motherhood and lost souls. Set in a Roman Catholic parish near Battersea, Mary Margaret cleans the church, falls from a stepladder, bangs her head and as she does so she witnesses a bleeding statue. She is a simple soul, living with her housebound mother, Fidelma, who relies on her for food and company. The ‘miracle’ draws many people to the church, much to the angst of Father Diamond, a lonely priest struggling with his faith.

In fact, there are lots of lonely people in this book: the mother whose youngest son is at boarding school; Alice, whose son is in Afghanistan; as well as Mary Margaret and Fidelma. As their stories unfold and entwine their sad lives are laid open before us.  I found it quite a sad book, but very real.

The writing was lovely, although I struggled a bit with the lack of speech marks. 4 stars.


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