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Review supplied by Marian Corbett.

An impending short visit to Belfast sparked my interest in re-reading the novels of local author Brian Moore. I first stumbled across his book The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne some years ago and was profoundly moved by it. That a man could so far enter into the mind of a lonely spinster and describe with such compassion her thoughts, feelings and experiences was amazing to me. Reading it a second time was only slightly marred by the fact I’d meantime seen the film version with Maggie Smith and Bob Hoskins whose characterisations – though skillful – tended to intrude on my own imaginings. Brian Moore has a special interest in the religious, so the main theme of this novel is the heroine’s crisis of faith as she realises her hopes of marriage and fulfillment are gone, and her life of Catholic duty and self-sacrifice may go unrewarded.

Not a cheery read, but wonderfully sympathetic and thought-provoking.