I've just finished reading The Resurrection of the Body by Maggie Hamand. It was sent to me by a friend whose recommendations I trust, but for a while I wondered why I was reading it. Beginning with an apparent murder on Good Friday, this short novel explores belief, incredulity and loss of faith in the course of investigating a mystery, and is written in the simple, direct style of someone recounting a story they have gone over so often that all artifice has gone.
I read the greater part of the book today, having reached the point where I couldn't bear not to know what the outcome would be. I had grown accustomed to the dry style of narrative, to the short chapters with their artless titles. And now that it's done I find myself wishing it wasn't, and wanting to go on - except that the end of this story can't be written in twentieth-century terms. For how would we cope with the Resurrection? Would we not all be like the first century sceptics who said the disciples had hidden the body of Christ to prove a point? In giving us this very ordinary Anglican priest with all his flaws and hangups, Hamand has given us the chance to look again at our own beliefs - and perhaps our own deepest needs as well.