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Michael Arditti’s magnificent novel is both a devastating portrait of today’s Church of England and an audacious reworking of the central myth of Western culture. Taking the form of a traditional triptych, it is at once intimate and epic, lyrical and analytic. Shocking events unfold against a backdrop of meticulously observed religious services. High Church ritual, evangelical revivalism and the ancestor-worship of the English gentry are all subjected to merciless scrutiny.

Reviews

It's a delight to find a modern novel that takes religion and all the objections to it seriously as a subject: the rockpool of a London parish teems with all kinds of curious life
Philip Pullman
Michael Arditti's new novel, with its three sections and cast of thousands mirroring the time-honoured triptych, delivers a technically impressive, emotionally moving and deeply disturbing chronicle of death and resurrection. A profoundly and passionately religious novel
Peter Stanford, Independent on Sunday
A huge book written with wit, compassion and a sharp critical eye. The writing is packed with daring imaginative leaps. Apart from Arditti's brilliant comic skills, there is a deep moral core to the book
Financial Times
Michael Arditti's brilliant novel. A latterday Passion story of great distinction
Observer
The author handles his material with considerable skill. Few other contemporary British writers of fiction are prepared to become immersed in metaphysical territory. Arditti's dialogue and imagery are memorable, and his eye for the quirks of Anglo-Catholicism recalls Barbara Pym at her best. His depiction of strong emotions - especially suffering - proceeds from deep feeling and is always honest
Daily Telegraph
At a time when religion and religion-based hostilities are politically rife throughout the world, the novel of religion has an important place. Michael Arditti writes about Western Christianity, as it is manifest in the present Church of England, with pungency and satirical frankness. His style has Joycean echoes. Against a background of the conventional liturgies he places awful actualities in the lives of preachers and practitioners. Not explicitly, but in purpose and feeling, Easter is a novel on the New Testament theme of Christ's expulsion of the money-changers from the temple
Muriel Spark
As in his excellent earlier novels, The Celibate and Pagan and her Parents, Michael Arditti is deliberately provocative: he reads at times like the unlikely love child of Derek Jarman and Barbara Pym, presenting a story of parish backbiting against a bleak backdrop of lust, corruption and disease. But this is a novel of such moral seriousness that, before long, one reaches for grander models. In the scale of its aspirations and the savagery of its satire, Easter reminds me of Charles Dickens. I think it is Arditti's masterpiece
Damien Thompson, Literary Review