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Children of darkness and light

by Mosley, Nicholas, 1923-2017

Format: Print Book 1997
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Pleasant Hills Public Library Adult Fiction Fic Mos
Location  Pleasant Hills Public Library
Collection  Adult Fiction
Call Number  Fic Mos
In Children of Darkness and Light, Mosley takes on what for most novelists has been the most challenging of subjects: a novel directly concerned with religious belief. A middle-aged, burnt-out journalist is sent to the north of England to do a story about the possible appearance of the Blessed Virgin to a group of children, though this may be a rumor initiated by the government to cover up a nuclear disaster. Or both. Out of such conflicting possibilities, Mosley invents a sinister world where nothing is what it seems to be. And as Mosley's narrator moves through the possibilities of half-truths, lies, conspiracies, and betrayals, he himself creates a parallel crisis in his personal life wherein he and his wife are trying to destroy their marriage or save it, or - as we come to expect in Mosley novels - do both at once. And behind all this is the possibility that the narrator - half philosopher and half would-be saint - is little more than a middle-aged man trying to justify his irresponsibility and infidelity behind a shield of wit and irony.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "With strains of obtuse, indirect, Pinteresque dialogue and, at times, a discombobulated, Lolita-like narrator, Mosley's new novel is simultaneously abstract, realistic, and sublime. In a failing marriage and lonely life-point, a middle-aged journalist is sent to Cumbria (northern England) where stories of the Virgin Mary's appearance to a group of children have surfaced alongside rumors of nuclear contamination--birth defects and water poisoning--from a local power plant. Drawn into the children's attempts to reveal nuclear realities and spiritual potentialities, Mosley's narrator is led toward revelation of the simplicities of love (in many forms) and its contradictory and inherent complexities. In Mosley's realm, everything is double-edged and multidimensional. Nothing is truth, and everything is truth. Mosley's style of writing is unique, and his ability to shape and mold a novel like a clay work in progress is remarkable. Readers looking for straightforward answers and happy endings will be disappointed. But those who approach the book with an open mind will be taken on quite an adventure. --Janet St. John"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: ""If we are to survive in the environment we have made for ourselves, may we have to be monstrous enough to greet our predicament?" The opening sentence of Mosley's Whitbread Award winner Hopeful Monsters is just as applicable to this alternately apocalyptic and redemptive novel. There are differences between the two books (aside from being shorter by half): the "hopeful monsters" here are children who have been exposed to radiation (intentionally and not), and Mosley replaces the earlier novel's gamut of Western philosophy with one religious, primarily Catholic, faith. Harry, an alcoholic journalist with family problems, once reported on the appearance of the Virgin Mary to children in wartorn former Yugoslavia. Now, several years later, his editor sends him to cover a commune of children in Cumbria who claim to have been instructed by another vision of Mary. On arriving, Harry begins to discover other connections: Gaby, the children's leader, is from Yugoslavia; there is a faulty nuclear reprocessing plant nearby that calls to mind the black-market trade in nuclear material he witnessed during his visit to Eastern Europe. Could it be, he begins to wonder, that these exposed children have mutated not into something horrifying but something new and wonderful? As ever, Mosley requires close reading. The dialogue is his usual Beckett-like loose interweaving of uncompleted thoughts and crossed conversations, and Mosley packs the pages with latent connections, ideas and references, particularly Christian¬Ďa fisherman named Peter, for example; or Gaby and her accompanying identical triplets (the BVM and the three-who-are-one?). "No one puts new wine in old wineskins," Christ says in Mark. The creation of a new vessel for a new spirit is the essential message of this brilliant novel of devastation and hope. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Mary, -- Blessed Virgin, Saint -- Apparitions and miracles -- Fiction.
Journalists -- England, Northern -- Fiction.
Belief and doubt -- Fiction.
Faith -- Fiction.
Religious fiction.
Publisher Normal, Ill. :Dalkey Archive Press,1997
Edition 1st American ed.
Language English
Description 240 pages ; 23 cm
ISBN 1564781518 (pbk. : alk. paper)
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