Be Near Me
By Andrew O'Hagan
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780156033961, 320pp.)
Publication Date: April 2008
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"Always trust a stranger," said David’s mother when he returned from Rome. "It’s the people you know who let you down."Half a life later, David is Father Anderton, a Catholic priest with a small parish in Scotland. He befriends Mark and Lisa, rebellious local teenagers who live in a world he barely understands. Their company stirs memories of earlier happinesshis days at a Catholic school in Yorkshire, the student revolt in 1960s Oxford, and a choice he once made in the orange groves of Rome. But their friendship also ignites the suspicions and smoldering hatred of a town that resents strangers, and brings Father David to a reckoning with the gathered tensions of past and present.In this masterfully written novel, Andrew O’Hagan explores the emotional and moral contradictions of religious life in a faithless age.
ANDREW O'HAGAN was born in Glasgow, Scotland. His previous novels have been awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the E. M. Forster Award.
PRAISE FOR BE NEAR ME"[A] beautiful, astute novel. Grade: A-."Entertainment Weekly "[O'Hagan is a] novelist of astonishingly assured gifts."The New York Times Book Review