Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Saint Christopher and the Gravedigger by Catherine Cookson

Known for the wit of her writing, in her lifetime Catherine Cookson became the UK’s most widely read novelist. When the Cookson Estate discovered the unpublished manuscript of Saint Christopher and the Gravedigger in the attic of her home, they unearthed a gem for Cookson’s many fans.
Gravedigger John Gascoigne lives in Downfell Hurst with his wife, Florrie, their three children and his mother, Gran. John is a deep thinker but extremely taciturn—a man of few words and many grunts. Which is why everyone is alarmed when he’s hit on the head by a cricket ball, and it suddenly seems as if the words won’t stop. What’s more, he says he is talking to Saint Christopher—only no one else can see the saint, and they’re beginning to worry John’s not quite right in the head…
Mad or not, John has some secrets he’s been keeping. But if he can’t stop talking, they won’t stay secret for long.


It's been a long while since I last read a novel by Catherine Cookson. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this one! It is charming, full of wit, and utterly charming. When John the Gravedigger gets hit in the head by a cricket ball, he begins to have conversations with Christopher who appears only to him. Of course, everyone thinks John has gone mad, but is he really? 

I loved the characters, especially Saint Christopher who not only has a sense of humour, but has the odd bout of mischief. This novel works and is plausible. It is filled with secrets and quirky turns. It's memorable characters literally leap off the page.

Another winner by this author!