From one of our greatest living writers comes a “powerful story” (New York Post) about sin cloaked in sacrament, shame that enforces silence, and the courage of one priest who dares to speak the truth.
Sent away from his native Australia to Canada due to his radical preaching against the Vietnam War, apartheid, and other hot button issues, Father Frank Docherty now enjoys a satisfying career as a psychologist and monk. When he returns to Australia to lecture on the future of celibacy and the Catholic Church, he is unwittingly pulled into the lives of two people—a young man and an ex-nun—both of whom claim to have been sexually abused by a prominent monsignor.
As a member of the commission investigating sex abuse within the Church, and as a man of character and conscience, Docherty decides he must confront each party involved and try to bring the matter to the attention of both the Church and the secular authorities. What follows will shake him to the core and call into question many of his own choices.
This riveting and timely novel is “the work of a richly experienced and compassionate writer [with] an understanding of a deeply wounded culture” (Sydney Morning Herald). It is an exploration of what it is to be a person of faith in the modern world, and of the courage it takes to face the truth about an institution you love.
Thomas Keneally began his writing career in 1964 and has published thirty-three novels since, most recently Crimes of the Father, Napoleon’s Last Island, Shame and the Captives, and the New York Times bestselling The Daughters of Mars. He is also the author of Schindler’s List, which won the Booker Prize in 1982, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, and Confederates, all of which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He has also written several works of nonfiction, including his boyhood memoir Homebush Boy, The Commonwealth of Thieves, and Searching for Schindler. He is married with two daughters and lives in Sydney, Australia.
"Absorbing...fascinating...Keneally knows how to spin a compelling plot...a good read by a rliable craftsman that tackles an important issue."
– New York Journal of Books
"Stunning and heartrending, a work of fiction that has a terrible ring of truth."
"Keneally's fiction has returned again and again to the themes of thwarted justice and human opportunism. Crimes of the Father is the work of a richly experienced and compassionate writer. It has an honest understanding of a deeply wounded culture."
– The Sydney Morning Herald
“Keneally boldly puts you in each character’s place…Pulsing with rage at ecclesiastical complacency, it’s deeply discomfiting (but never prurient) quest for redress narrated with clarity and urgency.”
– Daily Mail (UK)
"An impressive panorama...Crimes of the Father [is] a convincing argument for the power of fiction to get under the skin of a great contemporary controversy."
– The Times of London (UK)
"Keneally is extraordinarily generous in his story-telling...another hugely satisfying read from one of the world's great writers."
– The Spectator
"A provocative and powerful study...Keneally exposes the cynical casuistry of a church determined to fight critics down to 'its last lawyer', an institution that puts its survival above its soul."