Have you ever read a book which moved you so profoundly that you felt, because of it, your own writing would never be the same again?
In the last year, I’ve been lucky enough to read two such books, yet both author and genre-wise they couldn’t have been further apart. The most recent was, Joseph, by John MacKenna, which has just been launched by RTE Radio’s Joe Duffy. MacKenna felt it was about time that Joseph of Nazareth had a voice, and so in this contemporary novel, Joseph – a small-time builder in a small-time town – is for once, the central character.
Beginning the novel, I was unsure of exactly what to expect; but what MacKenna delivered, as a writer at the top of his game, was life to such fully-formed and interesting characters that you felt as if you knew them intimately. When the pages drew to an end, I felt myself slowing down, in the hope of somehow holding onto them – even for just a little longer.
It appears, if the reviews are to be believed, that I’m not the only one who feels this way:
‘A consummately skilled author’ – The Guardian
‘MacKenna is one of our most accomplished writers’ – RTÉ Guide
‘A writer whose emotional success rarely falters’ – The Irish Times
And even Jeffrey Archer had something to say . . .
You can read the full interview on writing.ie by clicking here.
‘It’s been forty years, and memory is the most unreliable of companions, so I can only offer these recollections with the proviso that you take them as the only truth I can call to mind. They’re my truth…’
When his ‘young fellow’ becomes involved in political agitation, and his own marriage begins to fall apart, Joseph of Nazareth must find a way to nurture hope.
The tale of a small-time builder in a small-time town, and his relationship with the charismatic figure he had treated as a son, Joseph humanises an often-overlooked Biblical character, and renders his story one for all time.
Joseph is available in bookshops now, or pick up your copy online here.