Tuesday, November 8, 2011

[Review]: "A Good Confession"

A Good Confession by Bridget Whelan
PUBLISHER: Severn House Publishers (February 1, 2009)
GENRE: General Fiction
Summary (Amazon.com)
A captivating novel about forbidden love - Cathleen Brogan is a young widow, struggling to bring up her family in 1960s north London. Times are tough for the Irish immigrants who live there, their hardships comforted by local Catholic priest, Father Jerry Brogan. Over time it becomes clear that Cathleen feels more for Father Jerry than perhaps she should. She hopes confession will ease her troubled mind, not realizing that she is confessing to the man she loves..

Where to Buy*: Amazon | B and N
Other Info: Author's Website | Book Page | Excerpts

My Review:

Cathleen Brogan thought life was going well; she is married to the love of her life, Mick, they have two beautiful daughters, and while they might not live in the lap of luxury they aren't on the streets begging for food either. But when her husband suddenly gets sick, she never expected the worst to happen....Burying Mick is one of the hardest things Cathleen has ever done. Now how is she to go on with her life?

The one good thing, if you can call it that, that comes from Mick's untimely death is the reappearance of his cousin, a priest, who was more a brother to Mick than even his own brother. Father Jerry Brogan was even the man that married Cathleen and Mick all those years ago. Since that day, they've not seen him, but upon hearing the news, he leaves Italy (where he was currently stationed) to make Mick's funeral in England. His last gift to his friend and non-blood brother is to speak at his funeral.

As a priest, as well as a family member, it is understandable for him to stay around to try and help the grieving widow out. But the thoughts and feelings that Jerry has for Cathleen are anything but pure and innocent, and when she lets him know that she feels the same, he is torn over what to do. Does he honor his vows to the priesthood or allow himself the one thing he's always wanted: companionship and love?

A Good Confession is not so much a romance as it is a fictional story that has a few brief romantic elements in it. I knew this going into it, but I had still hoped for something more. But it was not to be, and instead I was left feeling disappointed and quiet upset by the end of the novel. Nothing turned out like I had hoped, like I had thought from the beginning chapter, and the ending (if you can call it that) seemed to come out of nowhere.

I wanted to feel for the characters, but there was little to them and what was there wasn't enough for me to sympathize with, except for during a few brief moments. Cathleen was a bit flighty, at least in my opinion. She only stood up for herself and her family once or twice and the rest of the time it was like she was simply going through the motions of life: get up, provide for the family, cook, eat, clean, get ready for bed. I wasn't able to connect much with her, though I tried.

Jerry wasn't much better; I can understand how his religion and his work, his very promises, would mean so much to him, but I can't quiet see how with all that passion, he was only able to offer Cathleen a brief affair. I would have thought he would have given it all up for her, for that chance to finally feel loved and have a family, but apparently his beliefs are more important to him. I can't judge him because of that, but it did make it extremely difficult for me to connect with him in any way, and I can honestly say I was angry with him, and Cathleen, by the end of the novel.

2.5 STARS! While A Good Confession is in no way a romance novel, it does touch briefly on the complicated feelings of love, especially love that cannot be. Perhaps for some readers, this will be a keeper, one that they return to again and again. However, I was almost relieved when it was over, as I couldn't stand it anymore. I only wish the descriptions of the mother country (Ireland) could have been more engaging, more captivating, as this would have at least provided some way to escape while reading the story. Do I regret reading this one? No, not exactly. But I won't be re-reading it ever again, and as for future reading, I'm not sure if Ms. Whelan's books are right for me.

I received this e-book from the author in exchange for an honest review. My opinion is not in any way based upon the fact that I received the book for free.


 Until Next Time,

*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!


Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Hey honey! A very interesting review... I am sorry that it did not come in stronger on your scale, but I know how that goes! Hugs to you! Hope all is well!

The_Book_Queen said...

Hi Cecile--long time no see! :D

I imagine it's as hard for the authors to hear feedback like this (or worse, really I'm never been one to all-out bash a book) as it is for the reviewer to write it. But an honest review is not always a happy one...

Hope you are having a good week--it's Wednesday (yeah!)