Wednesday, August 8, 2007


1881, rural England: a young architect is sent on a 3-month assignment to a remote village, where he charged with restoring the town church. Unsympathetic to what he considers to be the superstitions of the villagers (manifest at the very beginning of the project, when he opens the churchyard cemetery), Stannard plugs on with his vision of the restoration, gradually generating the animosity of his employees, the church curate, and other members of the town.

This was a short and extremely well-written novel (another debut, although he has a couple more in England that will surely make their way over) so a quick, satisfying read. However, I gotta be honest here--the main character is SO irredeemably despicable that I don't think I actually enjoyed the book. You just loathe him from start to finish with every ounce of your being. For me, personally, all the good writing in the world can't save the experience for me, because the book just left me feeling so bad and distasteful.

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