The Warden-Anthony Trollope
A novel of manners in which a warden gets pushed from his post by slanderous anti-clerical actions and no one ends up all that happy.
This was definitely a I'm-too-stubborn-to-stop-reading novel. Trollope is a classic author, amongst the favorites of many of my favorite British writers but good lord, why on earth was I reading this? I despise novels of manners and I am not a fan of clerical intrigues. My favorite stories involving priests are usually supernatural (exorcism? darker un-Rome-approved orders? count me in!) or black & white films of priests doubting their faith (Diary of a Country Priest) or going on absurdly long treks (Andrei Rublev).
This is not one of those clerical stories. This is a prim and proper Church of England story with the daughter sacrificing it all for her father. Sigh. Her father meanwhile is suffering pangs because he thought he was a good enough man (non-spoiler alert: he is) and now he simply wishes to give in to save his honor. Oh I'm sorry, his church's honor.
I think I just sighed throughout. It's not that the story was badly managed. I was just so. bored. The prose didn't instill in me any sense of caring about the characters-they were just boring. By the end, it was like I was listening to one of those people who thinks everyone is good at heart, no matter what, which is actually something that irritates me. (caveat: I don't mean to say that everyone is evil at heart-that is just as irritating. I merely hold that everyone holds both tendencies at once and it's usually self-interest that wins.)
I was so happy though that Trollope's style is more for the simplistic side of the period or else I never would have made it even halfway through.