Deposition of Father McGreevy, The
In a London pub in the 1950s, editor William Maginn is intrigued by a reference to the reputedly shameful demise of a remote mountain village in Kerry, Ireland, where he was born. Maginn returns to Kerry and uncovers an astonishing tale: both the account of the destruction of a place and a way of life which once preserved Ireland’s ancient traditions, and the tragedy of an increasingly isolated village where the women mysteriously die – leaving the priest, Father McGreevy, to cope.
McGreevy struggles to preserve what remains of his parish, and against the rough mountain elements, the grief and superstitions of his people, and the growing distrust in the town below. Rich in the details of Irish lore and life, and a gripping exploration of both the locus of misfortune and the nature of evil, its narrative evokes both a time and a place with the accuracy of a keen unsentimental eye, and renders its characters with heartfelt depth.
A remarkable haunting and sometimes harrowing book that will leave you thinking long after the final pages have turned.
'It should have won all the prize, but it is too raw and painful for that … such a powerful book, so truthful' Doris Lessing
'O’Doherty’s powerful and sometimes magical writing keeps a reader closely involved' Julian Moynahan, New York Review of Books
'Both powerful and understated, reminiscent in more than one way of Conrad's Heart of Darkness ... it is remarkable and haunting, and I'm glad it didn't win the Booker, for otherwise I wouldn't have looked at it at all' Guardian
'Eerily compelling' Elle
'O'Doherty (The Strange Case of Mademoiselle P.) works overtime with local color, pathos and religious symbolism in this elaborately constructed homage and elegy to rural, Gaelic Ireland ... Readers will surely enjoy the history and myth O'Doherty spins out here ... and the harrowing plot he imagines' Publishers Weekly