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"This final novel in a double trilogy about the Church of England in the 1930s and the 1960s is a splendid conclusion to the series...and a powerful combination of psychological insight, theological depth, and storytelling ability." (Library Journal)
Absolute Truths is the final volume of Susan Howatch?s Starbridge series written about the Church of England in the twentieth century. All six novels can be read independently but I would urge anyone contemplating reading or listening to this novel with no prior knowledge of the preceding five books where we are introduced to the main characters, Charles Ashworth, Jon Darrow and Neville Aysgarth to begin with the first book in the series, Glittering Images (unfortunately not available through Audible). It is in this novel that we meet Charles Ashworth as a young clergyman; Absolute Truths tells his story when he is 65 and has become Bishop of Starbridge.
I have found the whole series absolutely riveting from beginning to end; I have the books on my bookshelf and have revisited them many times since Glittering Images was published in 1987. Knowing the novels so well and in so much depth has not detracted at all from hearing them narrated, instead it has enhanced my pleasure. Susan Howatch is a master storyteller and I consider her one of the best female writers of the last 30 years. She writes complex novels that combine psychology and theology within the framework of a fast-moving suspenseful plot. Her characters are beautifully drawn, totally believable human creatures with all their fatal flaws. For all his apparent success Charles Ashworth stands on a precipice at the beginning of Absolute Truths and as the story unfolds we struggle with him every step of the way as he fights against guilt and immorality. Set in the swinging sixties, a decade of huge change, which is reflected in the turmoil that Charles has to overcome on his path to redemption, love and lasting happiness.
Excellently read by Stephen Thorne, clear concise diction, a pleasure to listen to.
Canon Law Student
Have just worked through 4 of her starbridge novels - where are the other 2 and why no St Benets?
As a priest I am amazed by her work and really loved them. Just cried at the end of absolute truths!
This is a fantastic book and well read by Stephen Thorne. Listeners should be advised that this book is the last installment of the "Church of England" series by Susan Howatch. One hopes that audible.com will make the entire series of six books available so that listeners will be able to listen to the series in sequence.
"A brilliant conclusion!"
A brilliant conclusion to a brilliant series. Make sure you go through the series in order as the characters keep reappearing!
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