FALL FROM GRACE by Andrew M. Greeley

FALL FROM GRACE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Pedophilia, Satanism, a closeted politician, and an astonishing number of semi-closeted priests reunite a prosperous Irish Catholic shrink and his long-lost love, now a Ph.D. candidate but still ravishing. Father Greeley (Wages of Sin, p. 627; et many al.) puts his big, familiar cast of Chicagoans through incredible punishment, but they always come up smiling. Kathleen Leary married big, handsome Brien Donahue instead of smallish, clever boyfriend Kieran O'Kerrigan back in the 70's because her dominating older brother James thought it best. Now James is a bishop; Kieran is a psychoanalyst; Kathleen is a mother and student; and Brien is a wife-beating, alcoholic, closeted homosexual lawyer whose lover has been calling Kathleen when he's not busy arranging his Satanic rituals. Oh, and Brien is also about to announce his candidacy for the upcoming senatorial primary. James, a stuffed-shirt careerist, tries to keep a lid on Kathleen and Brien's problems--while also trying to squelch a suburban couple who are suing the church for reassigning their young son's abuser, a pedophile priest, to another parish, which is how the archdiocese has been handling its pedophilia problems for years. James involves Kieran in the investigation of the pedophilia business, unaware that his sister, after years of separation, feels her love for Dr. O'Kerrigan reawakening. Meanwhile, Kathleen, who has the glorious red hair and magnificent breasts without which no Greeley heroine is complete, hacks away at her Ph.D., mothers three teenaged daughters, endures incredible abuse from her alcoholic mother, alcoholic husband, and alcoholic in-laws, and still, good Chicago Irish-Catholic politician that she is, agrees to put off a divorce until after the primary. Events, however, overtake everybody. Maddening. Nobody writing today has a better handle than Greeley does on his important and colorful corners of the world, but to get those insights invariably requires swallowing great doses of treacly, fake-Irish dialogue and swoony, moony romance. And, no matter how many demons he trots onstage, the outcome is never in doubt.

Pub Date: March 24th, 1993
ISBN: 0-399-13723-8
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1992




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