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Paperback / softback


Publisher: Quercus Publishing
ISBN: 9781529425765
Number of Pages: 432
Published: 11/04/2024
Width: 20 cm
Height: 12.8 cm

A rich and powerful exploration of desire, sin and redemption, by one of our best chroniclers of faith in the 21st century.

"I enjoyed it enormously. The story is so interesting, the theme so important and pertinent, and the fluency and lightness of touch so engaging to read." PHILIP PULLMAN

"A novel that probes any number of aggressive varieties of moralism, while testing the reader's own moral alertness for rigour, realism and generosity. An engrossing, three-dimensional, grown-up narrative." ROWAN WILLIAMS

"An irresistibly readable, thoughtful and characteristically witty examination of the quandaries and compromises faced by the Church of England in an era of decline . . . I loved this book for its lightness of touch about serious subjects and for dialogue that glitters like clashing rapiers." MIRANDA SEYMOUR

As a woman in the early 1980s, Clarissa Phipps is unable to pursue her priestly vocation. Instead, she joins the BBC, where she is sent to interview the artist Seward Wemlock about the panels he is painting for an ancient Cheshire church.

"A serious and important writer" ROSE TREMAIN

Thirty years on, now rector of that same church, she chances upon Brian, the chief bell-ringer and husband of her closest friend, fondling fifteen-year-old David. David claims they are in love, but Clarissa is obliged to act. Will she choose friendship or conscience, sympathy or her duty of care?

The fallout from that choice forces her to reflect on past concerns over Wemlock's relationship with his teenage models. Had she heeded the whispers at the time, how many lives - her own included - would have turned out differently?

The Choice is a rich and powerful exploration of desire, sin and redemption, questioning whether it's possible, let alone prudent, to separate the art from the artist, which reaches to the heart of the contemporary culture wars. Richly comic and deeply compassionate, it is a remarkable synthesis of the sacred and profane.

"At a time when British fiction has never been more timorous about tackling novels of ideas, Michael Arditti has produced one worthy of Iris Murdoch and Graham Greene. Brilliantly ambiguous, waspishly witty and thoroughly enjoyable, this is Michael Arditti's own masterpiece to date" AMANDA CRAIG

Michael Arditti

Michael Arditti is a novelist, short story writer and critic. His novels are The Celibate (1993), Pagan and her Parents (Pagan's Father in the USA) (1996), Easter (2000), Unity (2005), A Sea Change (2006), The Enemy of the Good (2009), Jubilate (2011), The Breath of Night (2013), Widows and Orphans (2016), Of Men and Angels (2018) and The Anointed (2020). His short story collection, Good Clean Fun, was published in 2004. He was awarded a Harold Hyam Wingate scholarship in 2000, a Royal Literary Fund fellowship in 2001, an Oppenheim-John Downes memorial award in 2003 and Arts Council awards in 2004 and 2007. He was the Leverhulme artist in residence at the Freud museum in 2008. His novels have been short- and long-listed for several literary awards and Easter won the inaugural Waterstone's Mardi Gras award. In 2012 he was awarded an Honorary DLitt by the University of Chester.

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