Be Near Me : a Novel
by Andrew O'Hagan
Father David Anderton has lived an insulated life, sheltered from conflict and his own strongest feelings. An Oxford graduate, an intellectual and something of a connoisseur of wine and food, his life begins to change abruptly after he is sent to a poor working-class parish in Scotland. Here he encounters the rampant hostility of the locals. The loneliness of his life is tempered by his friendship with his housekeeper Mrs. Poole, blunt, loyal, and hungry for a taste of culture. He is also drawn to two wildly impulsive adolescents, who live in defiance of all order and authority. This attraction has grave consequences for the priest, but leads to the beginnings of self-knowledge and an opening to the world. This is a beautifully written and compelling novel.
Reviewed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library staff member