THE PRIEST'S STORY by John Attenborough

THE PRIEST'S STORY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A somewhat fey, fussily fanciful confession--all about the spectral and real-life happenings which urge Richard Everleigh, teacher at a 1954 prep school in England's East Kent, to become an Anglican priest. Richard, unscholarly but with a deep affinity for England's history, has his first contact with a ghostly Presence during a visit to the church of St. Dunstan's in Ockenham, a tiny village ten miles from Canterbury: the spirit of 14th-century priest Nicholas Maidstone, who served the House of Mortimer. And Richard will discover, thanks to his mother's confession after her visit to the church, that he shares something in common with Nicholas: illegitimacy. So, urged on by Nicholas' ghostly hints, Richard leaves the school to tutor sons of the wealthy, then follows Nicholas' route to London--where he works in a parish mission and marries. Thereupon another Presence makes itself known: another past priest of Ockenham, John Frebody, born 150 years later than Maidstone. (His words are: ""You are one of us."") And Richard is now on his way to the priesthood--with a first parish in East London (where he'll unwittingly become a hero by forestalling a violent revenge on one of his flock) and finally the parish of his dreams: St. Dunstan's, of course, with an offer of a ""living"" from a 20th-century Mortimer. A gentil fancy, but hardly parfit--too whimsical/soppy for anyone but a religiously oriented English-history addict.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1984
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton--dist. by David & Charles