John Boyne’s Next Novel: A History of Loneliness

When I find an author I like, I tend to read through everything that I can get my hands on by that author. I’ve just finished a second novel by John Boyne, entitled “A History of Loneliness”. One reviewer describes the book as:

A compelling study of an ageing priest… an excoriating portrait of Irish Catholicism and its precipitous fall from grace.”

– The Times Literary Supplement”

Irish Catholicism is my ancestry, at least the majority of it, although the U.S. east coast version. I like to focus on the good parts: the storytelling, the music, the pints in Irish themed pubs. But this ugly history around pedophilia, which as the novel clearly points out, tainted not only the victims and the perpetrators but everyone who should have known, did know, and failed to do anything over far too many decades. That indictment, for John Boyne, goes right up to and includes more than one sitting Pope.

This is a harsh and heartbreaking story, as difficult to read as it was difficult to put down. I recommend it.

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