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Morley Callaghan

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1989. 181pp, paper, $5.95
ISBN 0-7710-9955-X.CIP

Grades 11 to 13/Ages 16 to 18
Reviewed by Clare A. Darby.

Volume 17 Number 5
1989 September

This New Canadian Library reprint of Morley Callaghan's classic exam­ination of love defies critical comment. Even Milton Wilson in his new after­word admits that "Morley Callaghan's novels somehow resist being written about." Fortunately for us, Wilson ignores the obvious implications of his own observation and presents six thoughtful pages on the novel's characters, conflicts, themes, symbols, and style. However, one must admit that Wilson's comments are far easier to follow and evaluate than Callaghan's disturbing tale of a man going mad for love. Of course, the protagonist, Stephen Dowling, is not just any man, he is a priest; and Midge and Ronnie are not just any lovers—they are prostitutes. Callaghan's treatment of this evocative plotline is deft, if not suspenseful and his prose is sensitive, yet realistic; the times and places are concrete, yet universal. The text is as easy to read as it is difficult to under­stand. Is Callaghan satirizing the clergy, the middle class, the pimps, the system, or is he merely imagining what if ....? Whatever the answers, Such Is My Beloved is suitable for high school courses asking for more than narrative extravaganzas.

Clare A. Darby, Three Oaks Sr. High, Summerside, P.E.I.
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