Lacked the emotional impact expected from such a story


Crimes of the Father by Thomas Keneally

Book Review:  3 out of 5 star rating

Father Frank Docherty seems to attract controversy. He’s a good man and a good priest but his beliefs are sometimes at odds with the Catholic Church.  He was banished from the Australian church in the sixties due to his religious beliefs and he truly wants to return to Australia and their church so he can be near his aging mother.  But events come about that bring him into direct confrontation with the same Cardinal he’s trying to win favor with.  He’s become aware of several incidents of child abuse by a now well-known and respected monsignor.  His conscience won’t allow him to turn a blind eye to these horrendous betrayals of trust.

I had a bit of a problem getting into this book.  In the beginning there are somewhat long essays about church dogma that I didn’t find particularly interesting.  There was nothing in there that was new to me.  And at times the book read almost like case studies instead of a novel.  I found the beginning to be quite dry and didactic.  It took a while for the character of Father Docherty to grow on me.  Certainly the stories of the child abuse and the way the church tried to cover it up were very shocking and disturbing.  But I wasn’t drawn into the story line until late in the book.  Once I was pulled into the story, I enjoyed it more.  I remember reading “Schindler’s List” with much more emotion than I did this one.  His newest book lacked the emotional impact that I had expected from such a story.

I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and am under no obligation to review it.