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Shortlisted for the Writers' Trust of Canada Fiction Prize One of The Globe and Mail's Globe 100: Best Books of 2014 There were plans for an official welcome. It was to take place the following Sunday. But those who came to the rectory on Father Pennant's second day were the ones who could not resist seeing him sooner. Here was the man to whomthey would confess the darkest things. It was important to feel him out. Mrs. Young, for instance, after she had watched him eat a piece of her macaroni pie, quietly asked what he thought of adultery. André Alexis brings a modern sensibility and a new liveliness to an age-old genre, the pastoral. For his very first parish, Father Christopher Pennant is sent to the sleepy town of Barrow. With more sheep than people, it is sleepily bucolic - too much Barrow Brew on Barrow Day is the rowdiest it gets. But things aren't so idyllic for Liz Denny, whose fiancé doesn't want to choose between Liz and his more worldly lover Jane, or for Father Pennant himself, whose faith is profoundly shaken by the miracles he witnesses - a mayor walking on water, intelligent gypsy moths and a talking sheep.
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