'Gripping, harrowing and extremely moving... A painfully page-turning read...' - The Sunday Times
Clonliffe Seminary, 1972. Odran Yates arrives after his mother informs him that he has a vocation to the priesthood. He is full of ambition and hope, dedicated to his studies and keen to make friends.
Forty years later, Odran’s devotion has been challenged by the revelations that have shattered the Irish people’s faith in the Church. And when a family tragedy opens wounds from his past, he is forced to confront the demons that have raged within a once-respected institution, and recognize his own complicity in their propagation.
From the award-winning author of The Heart’s Invisible Furies, comes this courageous and intensely personal tale.
"An urgently compelling story of power, corruption, lies and self-deceits, the damage that happens when we turn our eyes from wrong. Anyone who wants to know what happened in the Irish Catholic Church needs to read this brave, righteously angry and stunning book. Some of us have long wondered what it would be like if a master storyteller turned his powers to this theme. Now we know."
"John Boyne has plunged into the dark and troubled history of the Catholic Church in our time and come up with a novel to treasure. Unflinching, moving and true"
"The complex architecture of this haunting novel is seamlessly constructed. The path to the priesthood that Odran Yates follows is both understandable and sympathetic. And Father Yates is a good man; he is innocent of the false accusations made against him (he's not a pedophile). But as this author accomplished, so masterfully, in The Absolutist, John Boyne has created a character who holds himself accountable -- in the case of Father Yates, for the sins of others. No writer today handles guilt with as much depth and sadness as John Boyne. As Father Yates takes himself to task for all he didn't do, no less than the sexual duplicity and cover-ups of the Catholic Church are indicted. This is John Boyne's most important novel, and of vital importance to Irish history; it is also a gripping story, one no reader can put down until its devastating ending."
"Gripping, harrowing and extremely moving...A painfully page-turning read...A vividly three-dimensional dissection of bothe the priesthood and the larger cultural malaise of Ireland"
"Beautifully and powerfully written, with an undercurrent of passion, A History of Loneliness is aptly titled. A portrait of one if those individuals we imagine we know -- but have not a clue of his depths."
From John Boyne to Jan Carson, here are four books the Penguin Ireland team can’t wait to start reading this Spring.
John Boyne’s A Ladder to the Sky tells a timely tale of the lies, ambition and manipulation of a ruthless writer with great talent but no imagination. Maurice Swift, a would-be author who befriends an older novelist to further his career is the main character. Here, John Boyne introduces an extract by explaining his motivation.