Anvil Soul by David O’Sullivan
To be released by Pen Name Publishing on September 20th, 2016
Father James O’Ryan is a young Priest in a small town, an outsider and loner who does not quite fit in. He is quiet, studious, thoughtful and grappling with the demands of his faith and the natural desires of his flesh. Living in a presbytery with a long-time beloved elderly Priest and another young, but more much more popular Priest named Hilton, Father O’Ryan finds himself to be the extra wheel. He and Hilton do not like each other, and the elderly Priest prefers the more charming, friendly, sociable Hilton over O’Ryan. The only person who seems to identify with and appreciate Father O’Ryan is a young woman named Courtney, a parishioner who is trying to figure out what she wants in life, and with whom Father O’Ryan finds himself in love.
Throughout the story, he battles his carnal desires toward her in addition to his genuine longing for affection and human connection with a woman.
Father O’Ryan becomes witness to several crimes - immoral and out right disgusting acts committed by his rival, Father Hilton. When he tries to confront the Priest and bring attention to these crimes against the Church and against humanity, Father O’Ryan is shut out by his Catholic superiors and maligned by law enforcement. He is demonized by the townsfolk and essentially run out of town by all. Like in so many of our otherwise well intentioned institutions, the crimes of the beloved and popular are swept away and/or minimized with denial or excuses…and then the who who dares to speak the truth or shine a light on reality…becomes the enemy. Contentment is oftentimes rooted in complacency, no matter who or what is sacrificed.
David O’Sullivan is a very descriptive and thoughtful writer concerning the ugly sins that have plagued the Catholic Church for decades, as well as the delicate balance and real humanity of the very men Catholics entrust with their faith and link to God. He intelligently uses the elderly Priest to fairly represent so much that has happened to the ancient institution, at times a decaying and morally comprised hierarchy that will do anything to preserve itself.
I highly recommend this outstanding, well written, second novel by David O’Sullivan for readers who enjoy books about struggles with faith and simple, everyday people who battle for the truth no matter the cost to them individually.
To learn more about David O’Sullivan’s work, check out his website at www.DavidGOSullivan.com.