Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Priest's Wife

By PJ Connolly
Women's Fiction, 414 pages
Cover art by: Trisha FitzGerald

Blurb: One man, two women.  How did a young nun find herself part of such an arrangement?

When Susan marries the man who was once her priestly confessor, tragedy and treachery lie in wait.

In an act of supreme selflessness she makes a proposal whose sheer audacity may shock some readers.

Excerpt: With my new place in Donnybrook, the salary was going to come in handy. Plus, my new job title wasn’t going to hurt my future in Maeve or wherever I might find myself. In deference to my new status, Sarah began to consult me on matters of editorial policy and I began to feel I had a personal stake in the future of the magazine.

I shared all this with Josie.

“Still, Sue, you can’t let your work be the be-all and end-all of your existence. You need to get out more and enjoy yourself.”

I’d never mentioned Finbarr to my sister. She knew nothing of his existence, which explained her constant going on about the need for me to get out and meet people. I wasn’t going to be able to keep it from her much longer.

“You don’t think I’m enjoying myself as it is?”

“Get out to a few dances. Meet a nice fella. You know what I’m talking about.”


“I don’t want to see you turning into an old maid, Sue. There’s more to life than work.”

I braced myself to tell her. Like a nervous penitent before confession. She’d want to know every detail, who he was, what he did, the breed and seed of him. There was no way in the world I was going to be able to hide the fact he was a priest.

“I’ll be seeing Finbarr at the weekend.”

“Finbarr?” A look of surprise mingled with curiosity. “I never heard you mention any Finbarr. Fill me in, Sue, I want to hear more.” She leant forward across the table, all eager.

“I’m going out with this guy.”

“Well you’re the smooth operator if ever there was. So go on, tell me all about him. Is it serious?”

“We’ve been seeing each other for the past few months.”

“And you never said a word! Keep going, I’m dying to hear. Give me the whole works. What’s the big secret? You don’t have to hide anything from your little sister, you know. Haven’t I been saying all along you need a man in your life? What does he do anyway?”

“He’s sort of ...”

“Sort of what?”

“He’s sort of a priest.”

I watched the colour drain from her cheeks.

“What do you mean, sort of a priest? There’s no such thing as sort of a priest.”

“He doesn’t practise as a priest any more. He works as a hospital chaplain. It’s not important. He’s just such a nice guy. I’d love you to meet him.”

“You must be out of your mind. God knows the world is full of men. Surely to God you didn’t have to go and get yourself involved with a priest?”

I reached across the table to press her hand, but she pulled away.

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