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Sarah Broadhurst's view...
A sweeping novel of power and compassion with secrets, prejudice and loyalty strongly to the fore. Set in the 1950s, a time of great change, it is a fascinating portrait of religious beliefs as two Catholic girls are drawn to a handsome Jewish boy and the local priest has secrets to hide too. I think Ruth Hamilton is terrific.
Comparison: Josephine Cox, Lyn Andrews, Lesley Pearse.
Similar this month: Meg Hutchinson, Katie Flynn.
Bell House by Ruth Hamilton
Madeleine Horrocks, pretty and outspoken despite her strict 1950s Catholic upbringing, doesn’t understand why religion seemed to force people apart. Surely, she would argue to her friend Amy, believing in God should be all about love and forgiveness, not hatred?But Amy has been brought up to believe that mixing with other religions would result in eternal damnation, and when Maddy becomes friendly with George, the good-looking Jewish boy who lives nearby, Amy fears the worst. But as they grow up she, too, becomes friends with George, as well as with other young teenagers who are Catholic, Anglican – even Methodist. They would all meet secretly at the Bell House, an ancient place of burial, but when a body is found in the nearby reservoir they become threatened by tragedy and danger.
Father Sheahan, the whisky-soaked priest from the local church, has meanwhile discovered that his secret past is catching up with him.Bigotry, lust and hatred have been so much a part of this community that it takes the combined forces of young and old – and particularly George’s formidable grandmother Yuspeh – to make everything right again.
Browse inside this book
‘For those who like Catherine Cookson, try Ruth Hamilton’
About the Author
Publication date1st June 2005
More books by Ruth Hamilton
Author 'Like for Like'
PublisherTransworld Publishers Ltd
CategoriesModern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
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