The Translation of the Bones

The Translation of the Bones
Francesca Kay
Reviewed by Janice O'Halloran
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Thu, 25/08/2011
9780297865087
£12.99

The Sacred Heart Catholic church, with its small but loyal band of parishioners, finds itself the subject of intense curiosity when news gets out of a miracle within its hallowed walls: a statue of Jesus Christ has apparently bled from its wounds, witnessed by Mary-Margaret O'Reilly before she crashed to the floor. Recovering in hospital, Mary-Margaret is convinced Jesus saved her to do his work, but her cloistered life with a mother scarred by religious zeal has been the catalyst for Mary-Margaret's intense and obsessive character.

Kay's challenging but very readable novel invites the reader to look behind the doors of the church, posing difficult questions about the value of religion as a mandate for living.

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