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The Time of the Angels - Iris Murdoch

It is Murdoch a month time again - doesn't it come around quickly.

Carel is rector of a non-existent City church (it was destroyed in the war). In the rectory live his daughter, Muriel, his beautiful invalid ward, Elizabeth, and their West Indian servant, Patti. Here too are Eugene, a Russian emigre, and his delinquent son, Leo. Carel's brother, Marcus, co-guardian with him of Elizabeth, tries to make contact with Carel but is constantly rebuffed. These seven characters go through a dance of attraction and repulsion, misunderstanding and revelation, the centre of which is the enigmatic Carel himself - a priest who believes that, God being dead, His angels are released. At the end, Muriel finds herself with the power of life and death over her father.

At the tail end of a bust tiring week I did find this a little bit hard to get into, but that was more to do with me than the book. Overall I did enjoy this novel, despite it's quite unpleasent themes. Murdoch's usual themes don't jump out and smack you in the face quite as much as in earlier novels - but they are ever present, as are, some similarities to previous works. I must say I loved the characters of Eugene and Patti, and their stories were by far my favourite.

I will leave saying anything else for discussion with my fellow Murdoch-a-monthians.
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