The Deposition of Father McGreevy - Brian O'Doherty

Genre: Fiction/Irish Culture
Synopsis: 'The Deposition of Father McGreevy' tells of the tragedy of a village where all the women mysteriously die. Father McGreevy struggles to preserve what remains of his parish, battling against the rough elements and the grief of his people.


Review: I discovered this book while compiling my list for my Irish Counties Challenge, and the synopsis had me really intrigued - particularly as it is set in my home county, Kerry. Unfortunately, it turned out to in no way resemble what I was expecting. I guess the hint was in the word 'shameful' on the back cover  - I saw 'strange' and 'women dying' and expected some poignant tale of inevitability about disease destroying a village and way of life.

Nope. That happens early in the story, and aside from a lot of back and forth with the local clergy about the fate of the fading town, the actual events which led to the total destruction of  a population whose reputation amongst nearby townsfolk was already in question, were a lot more.... well. I suppose I won't spoil it for you, but there is nothing interesting or exciting about it. It's kind of icky, actually, and at no point in this book do all the frequent ominous suggestions of impending disaster ever really manifest into anything other than a lot of misfortune and gossipy people. And I have to say, I dislike the stereotypical associations with Kerry people featured in this book, as well as the unjustifiable, lax attitude some characters have to what is going on.

I will say the writing is pretty good - while I didn't care much for the characters and not at all for the plot, in the end, it was well-written enough to keep me reading to the end without too much effort. All the same, not a book I'd reccomend to anyone. How it got shortlisted for the Booker Prize I'll never know!

Rating: 2/5 

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