Friend of the Dark

Be Near Me
Andrew O’Hagan
Harcourt, $24, 320 pp.

This is a very powerful novel, sad and bracing to an equal degree. Andrew O’Hagan tells the story of a fifty-six-year-old Catholic priest in contemporary Scotland whose career and vocation collapse when he yields to an infatuation with a charismatic, punkish teenage boy. The setting is a postindustrial wasteland overlooking the Irish Sea and overlooked by a ruined medieval abbey. All the men seem to be on the dole and in the process of...

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About the Author

Daniel M. Murtaugh is associate professor of English at Florida Atlantic University.