Unseen Things Above, by Catherine Fox

unseenthingsaboveReally, all I need to say about Catherine Fox’s Unseen Things Above is that it picks up the story from her earlier book, Acts and Omissions, which was my completely unexpected favourite-book-of-the-summer, and that the sequel is just as good as the original. Once again we are in the fictional diocese of Lindchester, where an omniscient (and sometimes intrusive, but amusingly so) narrator gives us glimpses into the lives of the clergy and others who live and work around Lindchester Cathedral. Fox is quite consciously modelling this series about a Church of England diocese in the 21st century after Anthony Trollope’s 19th-century fictional Barchester novels, and my greatest hope is that with the upcoming next book, she does not conclude a trilogy but rather follows in Trollope’s footsteps and gives us at least half a dozen Lindchester novels. These rich, vividly realized characters and their inner and outer struggles inhabit a world I would happily revisit over and over again.

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4 Comments

Filed under Fiction -- general, Fiction -- inspirational

4 responses to “Unseen Things Above, by Catherine Fox

  1. Sarah Jane Smith

    How did you get hold of this book? I just read Acts and Omissions (swallowed it whole, more like it) and am desperate to go on to the sequel, but Amazon.ca does not appear to sell either the printed or Kindle version.

    (Also, have you ever read Susan Howatch’s Starbridge series? The first one is Glittering Images. Also set in a fictional Anglican diocese, but each book focuses closely on one person (all but one a clergyman) and their spiritual/psychological struggles. Each main character’s thinking also represents a different strain of theology. She also has the St. Benet’s trilogy which brings back some of the characters but has more of a focus on non-clergy.)

    • Hi Sarah Jane Smith (LOVE your screen name). I had a hard time getting hold of Unseen Things Above, but I finally got it as an e-book from her UK publisher in a format that would open in the Overdrive app on my tablet. I’m currently reading her new book, Realms of Glory, as she publishes the chapters week by week on her blog. When all three books are out I’m going to order the paperbacks from the UK, because I love them so much I know they’ll bear rereading.

      I did read all the Susan Howatch Anglican books some years ago. I enjoyed them at the time, and have them all in paperback, but I haven’t felt the urge to reread them, which to me is the real test of loving a book.

      So good to find someone else who enjoyed Acts & Omissions! Good luck getting hold of Unseen Things Above.

      • Sarah Jane Smith

        From her publisher, like here? It says out of stock — how can an ebook be out of stock? Maybe I will have to order the print from the UK… if I can wait that long!

        I have reread Susan Howatch’s Starbridge and St. Benet’s books at least three times so I guess they do pass your test of true love for me, in fact I have to prevent myself from rereading them more often — I don’t want to get sick of them.

        By the way, your book reviews are great – thank you for sharing them with the world! I came across your blog a few weeks ago I think, and placed many holds at the library on interesting-sounding books. I have already read and enjoyed The Year of Fog, The Universe Versus Alex Wood, Come Thou Tortoise, The Paying Guests, and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. And I have your By the Rivers of Brooklyn on my list too.

      • Thanks! That is weird about the publisher listing the ebook as out of stock. I’ve never heard of that either. I contacted Catherine via Twitter (@fictionfox) when I was trying to find the book, and she was helpful about making suggestions and putting me through to the publisher’s website. The website wasn’t listing it as “Out of Stock” back then though.

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