Oh, deary dear. I reviewed A. N. Wilson's Unguarded Hours for Ignatius Press Novels, as it is the only religion-themed novel I have had time to read lately, and the fact I reviewed it has caused consternation among IP fans. It's not that I endorse the novel--I state clearly that it is not for the young or the sensitive--it's that I mention it AT ALL. And yet my Facebook critic would not have known that it was unsavoury in any way unless I had explicitly condemned it as such.
Wilson is rather Waughian in his tone, although (as I mention in the review), he picks not on modern society as much as on the clerical wing of the then-modern (1978) Church of England, which was full of atheist-socialist posturing and, not to put too fine a point on it, gay camp. The novel is devoid of faith in Christ, and the spiritual underpinning of the book is merely a fear that Christianity is all a crock, and all there is under Christian words and ritual is a bottomless nothingness.
I find that very interesting. I'd be wincing in humiliation if a disgruntled Catholic ex-seminarian exposed unsavoury elements in his training in that very British, mocking way. Catholics in Britain seem to think that would be dirty pool, though, and confine themselves to dinner party anecdotes. What I have heard about one Scottish prelate I would not care to repeat--although it would make a very funny... No.
Anyway, poor old Ig Pr is getting yelled at because of me, so would you all be angels and go here to respond intelligently to the review? I mean it. Two minutes out of your day to gladden the hearts of some good people. Before I got chucked out of a certain stuck-in-the-1970s Catholic newspaper, the editor suffered very greatly on my behalf, thanks to its "retired" editor, her mentor, who had kittens at such words and phrases as "Benediction" and "Sacrifice of the Mass." Oh, and while you are at it, browse the Ignatius Press catalogue and see if there's anything you'd like to give someone (including yourself) for Easter.
The critique is on the Ignatius Press Facebook page. If you feel like weighing in there, be nice to the weaker brethren.