After three years on the remote tropical island of Fanua, Timothy Fortune, a missionary from London, has made little headway. The islanders show very little interest in Christianity and he has only a single convert: a boy, Lueli. As Mr Fortune's affections for both Lueli and his new island home deepen, he begins to question all his old certainties - until one day he is put to a terrible test.
A wry exploration of faith, colonialism and the demands of love, Mr Fortune's Maggot is as quietly subversive as it is delightful.
Original, elegant and hypnotically strange
At long last I pulled down from its place on the shelves Sylvia Townsend Warner's plump little novel impishly titled Mr. Fortune's Maggot and was once again amazed by what a witty, poetic, clairvoyant writer this English woman was
Mr. Fortune's Maggot is satire at its best. There are passages here - particularly those delightfully malicious ones, of which there are many - that still cause the reader to laugh out loud. There is so much truth here
Sylvia Townsend Warner pursues the psychology of the story with beautiful accuracy
Her writing is full of melodic skills... Her sentences move like talk between intimates. Perhaps that is why this quizzical tale is so intensely moving