The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene (Books 2020, 5)
I’ve never read Greene before, except for I think one short story, and a chapter or two of his autobiography. This is fascinating. It’s the story of a Catholic priest in Mexico at a time when the church was banned. I had no idea that such a time existed: I think of Mexico as a very Catholic country, so such oppression is surprising.
The genius of it is that all the characters are so convincing. From the “whisky priest” himself – sinful, still believing, considering himself damned, yet trying to do what he can for people he feels are his parishioners; through to the hardline atheist lieutenant of police that is trying to find him. No-one is entirely good or bad, but there is sympathy for them all.
It’s justly considered a classic.