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The Breath of Night by Michael Arditti
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The Breath of Night (2013)

by Michael Arditti

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This book took me the longest time to get through of any book I have given 5 stars to.
It is classified as a mystery but it is really a questioning of theology and in particular the teaching of the Catholic Church, and what role they play in regards to government policy. Particularly when the government is behaving opposite to catholic teachings. How complicit is the church with what the government is doing, and what role should the church play.
The story is about Julian Tremayne a British priest in the Philippines, who began grounded in the teachings of the Catholic Church yet witnessed and experienced the worst of the Marco's regime. The priest is said to have had saintly qualities and even been able to perform miracles. The priest ends up being killed and his family is tired of waiting for the Catholic Church to recommend sainthood, so they hire a family friend to travel to the Philippines to learn everything he can about the priest.
Great books develop slowly, and great British books tend to develop really slowly. Not because they are boring but because of the layers of complexity woven through the story.
This book has two parts to each chapter, the first part is told in letters sent by Julian back to his wealthy well connected family back in Britain the second part of each chapter is narrated by the family friend sent to the Philippines to seek the truth.
This was an excellent book, not because of the mystery but because of the questions it raises. ( )
  zmagic69 | Sep 8, 2017 |
Despite the inconclusive ending, I really enjoyed this book about an English missionary in the Philippines during the Marcos regime. It brings up lots of good questions about how to combat poverty and oppression. ( )
  aulsmith | Apr 15, 2015 |
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"Julian Tremayne is a missionary priest in a remote Philippine village during the Marcos dictatorship. After championing the Communist rebels, he finds himself imprisoned for the murder of a local military commander. Three decades later, following his own mysterious death, a cult develops around Julian, whose intercession is credited with miraculous healing, and there are calls for him to be made a saint. When Philip Seward is sent out from England to investigate on behalf of Julian's family, he is drawn into a labyrinth of vice, violence and corruption where nothing and nobody are what they seem."--Back cover.… (more)

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