god is a great listener, but he or she is not much of a talker. it is left to us poor souls here on earth to interpret signs along the way. there is no way of knowing what is coincidence and what is fate. what is divine punishment and what is bad luck. what is absolution and what is self-justification. what is hereditary and what is choice. what is orthodox and what is heresy. these questions constantly bombard the characters in “the glorious heresies.” as a reader, you are constantly questioning it, as well. almost anyway you look at it, though, the results are tragic. this bitingly earnest first novel by mcinerney doesn’t sugarcoat the hopelessness of post-crash ireland. although there is a bleak air from start to finish, the string of that famous irish black humor weaves its way throughout, keeping you from the depths of despair. i also found myself puzzled by the paradox of sympathizing with every character, but not necessarily rooting for any of them. wishing for a happy ending seemed futile from the beginning. any expectation of miraculous recoveries or a character’s anomalous change of heart is dashed early on. it is refreshing rather than depressing and you find yourself wanting to go on the journey anyways.
i received a copy of ” the glorious heresies” from blogging for books in an exchange for this honest review.