A Perfectly Good Man
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The bestselling British novel about love, marriage, family, secrets, and how the power of faith can transform lives even in the midst of inconsolable loss
After being paralyzed in a rugby accident, twenty-year-old, wheelchair-bound Lenny Barnes feels he has nothing left to live for and is putting his affairs in order before committing suicide. As lively Mazey Day celebrations take place in the Cornish town of Penzance, Lenny summons a parish priest to his home. Father Barnaby Johnson is shocked to discover that he has been called in not to comfort but to deliver last rites. Lenny’s death will reverberate not only in Barnaby’s life but in the lives of his family and those around them, from Barnaby’s wife, Dorothy, to Modest Carlsson, a parishioner and former teacher whose affair with an underage student cost him his job, his marriage, and, quite possibly, his soul.
Narrated in a nonlinear style from the characters’ shifting perspectives and ages, this spellbinding, exquisitely crafted novel exposes the fault lines in relationships as it limns the consequences of our actions.
The novel that author Patrick Gale describes as “an echo chamber” to his international bestseller Notes from an Exhibition, A Perfectly Good Man reveals another family in crisis and asks what it truly means to be good. This Richard & Judy Book Club pick is a story of warmth, wisdom, and compassion on crises of faith, the power of prayer, morality, and what it means to be a parent.
“Warm and humane . . . beautifully written.” —The Times (London)
“A moving account of a man’s struggle with faith, marriage, and morality.” —The Sunday Times
“Gale is an effortlessly elastic storyteller. A writer with heart, soul, and a dark and naughty wit, one whose company you relish and trust . . . A novel which managed to upset and uplift me in equal measure—and kept me guessing—right through to its slightly bitter and heartfelt end.” —The Observer
“Marvelous.” —The Mail on Sunday
“The final chapter left me with a lump in my throat.” —The Guardian
Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight. He spent his infancy at Wandsworth Prison, which his father governed, then grew up in Winchester, before attending Oxford University. He now lives on a farm near Land’s End. One of the United Kingdom’s best-loved novelists, his recent works include A Perfectly Good Man, The Whole Day Through, and the Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller Notes from an Exhibition. His latest novel, A Place Called Winter, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Prize, the Walter Scott Prize, and the Independent Booksellers’ Novel of the Year award. To find out more about Patrick and his work, visit www.galewarning.org.
A Good Read
I thought I would not like this book as it is somewhat confusing in the beginning. I ended up loving it. The characters will stay with me as will the story. Keep reading. It gets very much better.