A short novel, which brings up many interesting questions and ideas.
Characters from a backwater Catholic church and convent in the 1950s undergo an internal alchemy, touched off by Fludd. Some of the images in this book will stay in my mind a long time (those plaster saints!).
Fludd is a remarkable work, rooted in the life of the 17th century alchemist Robert Fludd who shows up mysteriously as a curate in an obscure and backward English village and subtly improves the lives of the deserving while the mean-spirited get their deserved punishments, a case of modern alchemy affecting the lives of the benighted and disbelieving. Mantel is a master of character and atmosphere in this short novel.
Hilary Mantel has a sly sense of humour, and this book makes me laugh out loud. Her prose is also fluid and clear - an absolute pleasure to read.
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