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Parish life and archdiocesan treachery keep things hopping for a feisty, Irish-American, suburban pastor and his handsome, hard-charging, Irish-American curate as Greeley (All About Women, 1990, etc. etc.) adds to his string of hits. Sure enough, if Anthony Trollope were living now instead of then (a character here is in fact reading Trollope), wouldn't he be writing about the Chicago suburbs instead of Barchester, since that's where he'd be finding the good people still going to church and getting themselves in an uproar about whether they're thinking that Father Lar and Father Jamie are on the side of Himself up in heaven or of the devil and all his imps? And wouldn't he be wanting to tweak the nose of a cardinal archbishop who's let himself be bamboozled by a crowd of pesky laymen wanting nothing so much as to put Holy Mother Church back where she was before Pope John opened the windows and let the air in? And don't you think if Anthony Trollope were breathing today, he'd be after having his publisher to put a scandalous-looking dust-jacket on his spanking new book so it would be selling like oatcakes even if all the little episodes about parish life were no more lascivious than Barchester Towers itself? And wouldn't that same Mr. Trollope see fit to put into his book a dozen bottles of Bushmill's best Irish whiskey, a defrosting ex-nun, some wise-beyond-their-years teen-agers, a few tips on fund-raising, a scandalously attractive West-of-Ireland illegal immigrant cook, and an Irish wolfhound named Norah--and then tie them all together with a plot about right-wing suburban boyos who try every dirty trick in the book to shoot down the good fathers for being too liberal? Faith, they lie to the cowardly cardinal until Father Lar finally has to go to war with them and the sneaking Spanish priestly advisor right there in the chancery. Underneath all the cute there's a genuinely touching tribute to parish life--and a pretty good story about some very troubling ecclesiastical politics. It's not the ""taut thriller"" that the publisher claims--more an almost pleasant stay in the parish, full of Catholic gossip and life, for the baggy and bulging Greeley readership.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1990
ISBN: 0765324423
Publisher: Warner