This very short novel is a parable on divine love. It is as beautiful and easy to read as it is short- and probably as hard to understand in all its implications. A man who has been cursed by Christ for refusing Him a kindness comes to a now outlawed former priestess of the oracle at Delphi to find out what will become of him. She in turn tells the story of her life- a peasant girl who from the age of twenty was the best Pythia the oracle ever had. Except for a brief episode of human love, her life was completely devoted to the god (more Dionysius than Apollo- but some of each). The god had his revenge by killing her lover and driving her out of his temple and civilization, but also left her to bear his own witless son. Divine love, wrath, justice and peace all come in for consideration with contrasts drawn between Christian and pagan concepts. But nothing is preached, it is all reflected through the narrative. The writing is intense, simple, realistic and poetic at the same time, and I should judge that Naomi Walford's translation is very fine.