10/07/2000

Ultimate Prizes

Novel by Susan Howatch, third in the Starbridge series. Sequel to Glittering Images and Glamorous Powers.

This story is written from the perspective of Neville Aysgarth, an Archdeacon in the Anglican Church, during the 1940s.

It's very cleverly written, because Neville isn't a particularly appealing character - yet the story is still gripping. Neville's habit of 'ringing down the curtain' on all unpleasantness has led to so much repression that he approaches a nervous breakdown in the midst of various crises.

The story unfolds as his life hits rock-bottom; he has to learn to face his pain before slowly re-forming his life, and finding a measure of healing.

Believable, if dramatic, with interesting digressions into the theological debates of the time, and attitudes to World War II, Nazis and pacifism.

Perhaps not quite as enjoyable as the first two, but still very readable and thought-provoking. Highly recommended.

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