The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore


I loved this book! I sat down and practically finished it in one reading. Written in 1955, it tells the story of Judith Hearne, a woman with a limited life view, a rigid code of behavior, an imagination that often supplants reality, and a wicked secret that threatens to destroy her.

Judith has done the right thing, much to the detriment of her own happiness. Caring for her dying aunt, Judith has missed out on life. No husband, no job, no opportunities. But she has a way of coping. Well, more than one way, but I don’t want to give too much of the story away. Suffice to say, and this is what I loved about this book, one way she copes is by imagining an alternative reality. And she does it so subtly (Moore’s writing is so brilliant) that you go along with her, thinking it’s real until you realize, hold on, she’s got it all wrong. However, by that time you can see just how and why her fantasies would have carried her so far; after all, you’ve been carried along as well. Moore makes Judith such a pitiable character, not only do you allow her those fantasies–you wish for them to come true.

I finished this book and put Brian Moore on my list of authors that I must read more of. His writing immediately carried me to a place and time that I now feel I know intimately. This book is a winner–run, don’t walk, to your bookstore and enjoy it!

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