Author of AGAINST A DARKENING SKY, THE EMPTY ROOM, OUR DAILY BREAD, and others. Find out more at www.LaurenBDavis.com. I read as if my sanity depended upon it.. . . oh, wait, it does! Snort.
A quiet, thoughtful book by a writer who is much underappreciated. She deserves a wide audience, although I fear the sort of book she writes -- gentle, interior, full of the depth of ordinary lives -- is much out of fashion in favor of dystopian horrors, angry screeds, and extreme character portrayals. Pity.
This novel deals with aging and youth, scandalous talk, resentments, misunderstandings, foolishness, closemindedness and the pain of injustice. Set in Ireland in the mid-20th c, Mr. Pendergast is a man at the end of his life, a solitary man, of few passions. He is a Protestant and, much against his will, finds himself in an unlikely friendship with a Catholic boy. It's heartbreaking and beautifully drawn.
I highly recommend it and will be reading the rest of Johnston's work. A fine article about her appears here... https://www.theguardian.com/books/2004/feb/11/fiction.rosiecowan