Holy Roman Empire

Rosemary Dinnage

  • Cold Heaven by Brian Moore
    Cape, 271 pp, £7.95, October 1983, ISBN 0 224 02099 4
  • Time After Time by Molly Keane
    Deutsch, 247 pp, £7.95, September 1983, ISBN 0 233 97587 X
  • Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin
    Weidenfeld, 673 pp, £8.95, October 1983, ISBN 0 297 78329 7
  • August by Judith Rossner
    Cape, 376 pp, £8.50, October 1983, ISBN 0 224 02172 9
  • Kiss of Life by Keith Colquhoun
    Murray, 159 pp, £8.50, September 1983, ISBN 0 7195 4082 8

If Greeneland is the most famous sex ’n religion territory, its next-door neighbour must surely be Mooreland. Brian Moore has staked out a very specific American-Irish, Catholic subject-matter and has rightly earned high praise. Unlike Greene, he usually makes his central, guilt-ridden character a woman, and he is more inclined than Greene to take off into the fantastic or supernatural. The idea behind Cold Heaven is neat and unsentimental. Suppose an authentic, impeccable vision of the Virgin were to appear to someone who clung to the ordinary, who dreaded piety, and was only reluctantly a Catholic. Instant conversion? Or rage and rebellion?

The full text of this book review is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.

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