Why I Read It
I don't generally read books like this but after seeing all the fantastic reviews for it during the TLC Book Tour (and hearing that it was not a Catholic-bashing book*) I knew I had to give it a try.
About the Book
A Boston priest is accused of molesting a young boy and the fall-out in the community is huge. The priest's mother and sister family stand by him but his brother (father of two boys himself) wants nothing to do with him anymore. Parishioners struggle to match this horrible accusation with the priest they've trusted for years while the media crucifies him in light of all the other scandals in the Catholic Church in recent years.
The story is told by the priest's sister as she tries to put together the chain of events that led to the accusation.
This is a fantastic book! I feel like these characters are people I know in real life. They are each unique and real enough to walk off the page. The story kept my attention from the start and I held my breath in anticipation as secrets were revealed in the latter half of the book.
Some of you know this already but my husband was molested by a teacher at a Christian school. It took years for him to tell anyone about it. When he finally did, the teacher was brought to trial and eventually convicted and sent to jail. School staff and students' families were split over the issue; some believed the kids (there ended up being more than just my husband) while others accused them of lying and stood by the teacher. It was a painful time for everyone involved. That anger and pain and confusion were all captured by Haigh in this book, and she did it in a very convincing way.
In retrospect I should have seen how the book would turn out but I was so engrossed in the story that I didn't think ahead and the ending took me by surprise.
As I said at the beginning of my review, it was a great, great book. I am very glad I broke out of my normal reading range and gave this one a chance.
* I was raised Catholic and although I now attend a non-denominational church I still have a great love for the Catholic Church.