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Office of Innocence

Office of Innocence

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Written by Thomas KeneallyAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Thomas Keneally

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pages
  •  
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • On Sale: June 8, 2004
  • Price: $15.00
  • ISBN: 978-1-4000-3095-8 (1-4000-3095-1)
Also available as an eBook.
about this book

Marshalling the vast powers of narrative and historical re-creation that he brought to his international bestseller Schindler’s List, Thomas Keneally has created a moving and provocative novel about a headstrong young Catholic priest in World War II Australia. As Sydney braces itself for a Japanese invasion, Father Frank Darragh finds his pastoral duties becoming increasingly challenging. How should he counsel an AWOL black American soldier who may face death for his involvement with a white woman? And what should he say to another woman—the distressingly beguiling Kate Heggarty—who impresses him with her virtue even as she edges toward sin?

When Kate is found murdered, Darragh falls under suspicion. And even if the police clear him, his superiors—and his own conscience—may not. Office of Innocence is a book that’s impossible to put down, dense with moral complexity and alive with period detail.


“With its dizzying moral ironies, smart pace and deft set pieces, [this] novel evokes Graham Greene. . . . Keneally is an expert storyteller.” —The New York Times Book Review

“[Keneally’s] quiet, lithe style moves effortlessly. . . . Readability, research and craftsmanship. . . . Original and ambitious.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Vivid, paradoxical characters. . . .Keneally’s atmospheric and descriptive powers are formidable.” —The Boston Globe

“Uncanny insights. . . . Terrifically engaging.” —The Christian Science Monitor

“An important book . . . a beautifully realized drama that is worthy of our closest attention. . . . A powerhouse.” —Chicago Tribune

“In the style of the best historians, [Keneally] allows the intrinsic power of the tales he tells and the people who populate his pages to draw the reader into a fully elaborated universe.” —The New York Times

“Keneally . . . is able to maintain a graceful balance between respect and awe of the Catholic tradition with a willingness to peel back the layers of pomp and circumstance and uncover the human (and thus flawed) reality that lies beneath. . . .[He] is a consummate storyteller.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review

“A compelling drama. . . . It has the feel of a Graham Greene novel.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“A moving novel that perfectly captures a man of faith struggling with his own humanity. . . . Keneally clearly burnishes his reputation as a master storyteller, shedding a harsh but tender light on the struggles inherent in the religious life.” —Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Keneally’s writing is red-brick substantial but steps out at the right times into backyards of dangerous sexuality, front gardens of lush emotions and distant terrains of metaphysical insight. . . . [His] tough-mindedness is also surprisingly nimble with feeling.” —Daily News

“Suspenseful. . . . An emotionally engaging story of faith under pressure. . . . An illuminating mediation on the labyrinthine forces at work in the confessional.” —Boston Herald

“A tight, supremely clear-sighted narrative.” —Time Out (London)

“A compelling and painfully realistic picture of a young man determined to do the right thing as he sees it spoken by the often conflicting worlds of church and secular society. . . . A wonderful book that speaks to any time, to all who seek the truth.” —BookPage

“An intimate portrait of a young priest struggling with issues of morality, guilt, and forgiveness at a time of war. . . . It will warm and challenge its readers with its vivid evocations.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

“What is remarkable about Office of Innocence is how finely balanced it is morally. Keneally’s twenty-fifth work of fiction proves his sustained energy and the sustained gracefulness of his intelligence.” —Sunday Times (London)

“A good book, a serious book, and because it is both, a stirring book.” —Sunday Telegraph (London)