Acts and Omissions
The novel brims with wit and heart, acknowledging the awkwardness and consolations of Anglicanism in the twenty-first century. Hugely entertaining and highly recommended.
This is a funny, affectionate, and devastatingly accurate portrayal of the Church of England today... in fact its literary heritage is altogether impeccable.
...she brings a sharp and exceptionally well-informed eye to bear on the foibles of the C of E...
The plot is, however, driven by her wickedly observed characters , operating within a framework that will be immediately familiar to Anglican readers, but whose mysteries are skilfully explained for others.
Her setting, in the cathedral city of Lindchester, is a world that is both fictional and familiar. Her narrative incorporates snatches of favourite hymns; unexpected theological revelations catch at the back of the throat as they bring a bible passage movingly to life.
Underlying the racy and eminently plausible storyline, however, is a profound exploration of the big themes of judgement and mercy; above all, of love.
TWO health warnings: the publishers have produced the book in a horribly small font (read it on Kindle if you can, and adjust the type size to suit yourself). And the language - as befits some of what it describes - is, er, vernacular. But, mostly, that adds to the fun, even if it also makes for a mind-broadening read.
Janet Beer, vice-chancellor, University of Liverpool, has some seasonal advice for readers. “Unsure what to buy the Trollope devotee in your life for Christmas? Look no further than Catherine Fox’s Acts and Omissions (SPCK, 2014) and Unseen Things Above (Marylebone House, 2015) for a refresher course not only in cathedral politics, but also a set of profound, although lightly drawn, insights into the contemporary Anglican communion. This is not pastiche: Fox’s voice is not Trollope’s, it is her own – witty, meddling, compassionate – and in this last regard she most resembles her predecessor. The men and women of the church in Fox’s world go about their professional and personal lives much as the rest of us do. They are susceptible to temptation, and to the odd bit of inappropriate behaviour, but in the main their stories are compelling because the ethical dilemmas that afflict us all from time to time are their daily bread but exotic fare for most readers.