Morley Callaghan's first mature novel was Such Is My Beloved
, which represents the beginning of the string of moral novels (including They Shall Inherit the Earth
and More Joy in Heaven
) that have remained the most readable of his work. All of these titles present social and moral quandaries from an overtly Catholic perspective, avoiding didacticism and political tub-thumping in favour of subtle, compassionate presentation. Such Is My Beloved
, a Depression-era tale of an idealistic, naive young priest who undertakes the salvation of a pair of prostitutes as his personal project, is perhaps the best of the lot.
Callaghan is not a successful moral novelist in the manner of Dostoyevsky or even Graham Greene, for his talent is not up to the challenge of seducing anyone who does not already share his beliefs and prejudices. Modern readers will have difficulty resisting the notion that Father Dowling's involvement with Ronnie and Midge is free of sexuality, but doing so appears to be essential to understanding Callaghan's moral purpose. Fortunately, Such Is My Beloved works as a social novel and as an entertaining story. It is possibly the funniest of Callaghan's early fictions, and undoubtedly the most readable. Anyone who is curious about Callaghan's early years ought to begin here. --Jack Illingworth
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Morley Callaghan’s literary circle included Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Joyce. In a career spanning more than six decades, he published sixteen novels and more than one hundred works of short fiction.From the eBook edition.