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vaguely religious

(40 Posts)
DoctorGilbertson Mon 16-Dec-13 20:57:34


I like fiction with religious settings or references - not books about religion just religious contexts. (like Chaim Potok or Patrick Gale)

Any thoughts?


cheapskatemum Tue 15-Apr-14 03:11:27

The Spire by William Golding and Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

TheRedQueen Fri 11-Apr-14 20:59:10

Two others that have just popped to mind :

Father Frank (very lighthearted romp about a Catholic priest and a taxi. By Paul Burke, I think)
The Thorn Birds (by Coleen something or other)

TheRedQueen Fri 11-Apr-14 20:50:04

Sacred Hearts ( Sarah Dunant)

TheRedQueen Fri 11-Apr-14 20:44:01

The Last Testament of Gideon Mack (James Robertson)
The Hiding Place (Corrie ten Boom)
Mister God, This is Anna (Fynn)

somewherewest Fri 11-Apr-14 20:29:03

Gilead is fantastic! I also love The Name of the Rose (intellectual murder mystery set in medieval monastery) and The Handmaid's Tale.

I'm a bit meh about Poisonwood Bible to be honest. I once discussed it with a very intelligent feisty woman who been a Baptist missionary in the Congo in the 50s/60s. Apparently just about everything in it regarding missions and missionaries is totally daft and inaccurate.

BlueChampagne Fri 11-Apr-14 14:32:06

Christ Recrucified - Nikos Kazatzakis

Shakey1500 Fri 11-Apr-14 14:20:05

I know it's been a while but on the off chance you still see did you find Mission? smile

Shakey1500 Thu 23-Jan-14 20:17:48

Glad you're finding Mission readable DoctorGilbertson

Please update when you've finished it as I'm always interested in hearing what people make of it smile

Weegiemum Wed 22-Jan-14 12:45:48

I was going to recommend the Ken Follet cathedral books. If you like e.g John Grisham you might like them as Follet is primarily a thriller writer but wrote these ones out of a lifelong obsession with Cathedrals, having been brought up in an extreme brethren sect. I loved them.

eslteacher Wed 22-Jan-14 12:31:41

How to be Good (Nick Hornby) and The Handmaiden's Tale (Margaret Atwood) are two novels that aren't about religion, but are about characters very influenced by religious ideas (renouncing worldliness, doing charity, madonna/whore division etc). Both very readable, and the Atwood is one of my favourite books.

Quangle Mon 20-Jan-14 21:30:20

Was going to say Frost In May. Absolutely love that book.

Clr2014 Mon 20-Jan-14 21:22:50

I also loved the red tent. Also worth checking out an author called Francine Rivers... I have read several but particularly loved one called Redeeming Love. Couldn't put it down.

Caitlin17 Mon 20-Jan-14 21:19:55

Oh and Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita. It's got the devil in Moscow, Pontius Pilate finding redemption.

Caitlin17 Mon 20-Jan-14 21:14:46

The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder. Not overly religious but it's about fate and our place in the universe.

DoctorGilbertson Sun 19-Jan-14 15:06:39

Thanks all. Just coming back to this.

Of the suggestions so far I read the Rapture and quite enjoyed it, I am still quite near the start of the Mission it is very readable.

Connie Willis, Iris Murdoch, Anita Diament, John Connolly, Jim Crace and the 19th wife all now on order from the library.

Again thanks for all the suggestions.

MrsAMerrick Sun 19-Jan-14 14:43:10

knowledge of angels by Jill Paton Walsh is brilliant. I loved Gilead and raved about it to loads of people, most of whom hated it!

I really enjoyed The Poisonwood Bible . Hated The Red Tent. I've just read The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin which was good.

Solaia Sun 19-Jan-14 13:53:12

I was going to recommend The Red Tent by Anita Diamant but Sarah has beaten me to it. I really enjoyed it.

SarahAndFuckTheResolutions Sun 19-Jan-14 13:42:14

The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End by Ken Follett. The first one is about a group of people who want to build a cathedral (and another group who want to stop them) and the second is a follow on of sorts but tells the story of the first books ancestors a couple of hundred years later.

They do cover some big historical events as well though, but they aren't really hard work to read even though they are big books.

The Red Tent by Anita Diament is inspired by Dinah, briefly mentioned in the bible (genesis?), who is the daughter of Jacob. It's a look at the lives of the women of the time and I was asked to read it by my book club. I was dreading it but it turned out to be quite good.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Fri 17-Jan-14 17:36:06

Iris Murdoch's The Bell is set in a religious community. Some others of hers might also be relevant - I'll have a think.

Antonia Fraser's Frost in May?

I've got The Poisonwood Bible in my heap of books to be read. Glad to hear others have enjoyed it.

lucysnowe Fri 17-Jan-14 13:16:20

A lot of Connie Willis' books are vaguely religious.

mimbleandlittlemy Wed 18-Dec-13 16:26:49

Quarantine by Jim Crace which is sort of about Jesus and the 40 days in the desert.

The 19th Wife - which is very interesting on the Mormons.

Flight Behaviour, which isn't actually about religion as such but there is an interesting interplay with the local church throughout it.

Gilead and Home are just wonderful, as is Poisonwood Bible.

DuchessofMalfi Tue 17-Dec-13 08:01:24

A little bit more than vaguely religious - The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin - a very short novel, can be read in a couple of hours, or The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman. I've read both, and liked them.

Shakey1500 Mon 16-Dec-13 21:58:10

I'd be interested to know what you think of Mission smile

It blew me away to be honest (especially the end). The middle was a bit of a trawl but it's not a heavy tome by any stretch, so doable with perseverance. I don't know of many people that have read it, though I hear it's become (ing) a bit of a cult read.

<hangs on to copy in the hope it'll be worth squillions>

DoctorGilbertson Mon 16-Dec-13 21:53:11

Thanks again. Stephen Lawhead. Mmm, yes, possible, will investigate
Father Brown - have read a book of short stories, not sure I would look to read more. Maybe
Rumer Godden, how interesting - my sister read Greengage summer, but I never did. Will investigate
George Eliot, probably not.
Stephen King - I read a couple, possible.
Philip Pullman - yes - read and enjoyed the Dark Materials but haven't got on with any of his other stuff
Douglas Coupland - irrationally think I may not get on with, but life after God does look interesting
John Connolly - yes, looks good - will investigate, thanks.
Liz Jensen's, The Rapture - also looks good.

Thanks everyone - some great suggestions. Will get on with ordering from the library!

DoctorGilbertson Mon 16-Dec-13 21:36:58

Oooh thanks for all the replies, and Patrick Tilley Mission I have never come across before so brilliant, thanks.

Susan Howatch - yes I think that I have read all of them - I only own a couple so have read these more often than the others, but unless there are much more recent ones I think that I have read them all.

CJ Sansom - I read Winter in Madrid and it was so sad - I'm not very good at reading stuff when people are unredeemed.

Grisham, Baldacci - no, I very much enjoy (and the library had a new Baldacci book which I would have borrowed today if their computer system hadn't gone down grr, I also have a Theodore Booone book on request which is taking far too long to arrive ...)

Karen Maitland/CJ Sansom historical religion - probably the same problem as Brideshead revisited _ I'm not very good at getting going with historical stuff. I did read the Name of the Rose, but it is not something that I have ever reread.

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