The Friday Gospels

Jenn Ashworth

The Friday Gospels

It's Friday in the Leeke household, but this is no ordinary Friday: the Leekes are Lancastrian Mormons and tonight they will be welcoming back their son Gary from his two-year mission in Utah. His mother, Pauline, wants his homecoming to be perfect. Unfortunately, no one else seems to be following the script. In turn, the members of the family let us into their private thoughts and plans. There's teenage Jeannie, wrestling with a disastrous secret; her peculiar elder brother, Julian, who's plotting an exit according to his own warped logic; their father, Martin, dreaming of escape; and 'golden boy' Gary, who dreads his return. Then there's Pauline, who needs a doctor's help but won't ask for it. As the day progresses, a meltdown looms. Except that nothing goes according to anyone's plan, and the outcome is as unexpected as it is shocking. Laced with black humour and giving an unusual insight into the Mormon way of life, this is a superbly orchestrated and arresting tale of human folly and foibles and what counts in times of crisis. 4.2 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
The Friday Gospels

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre General Fiction
Format Hardcover
Pages 336
RRP
Date of Publication January 2013
ISBN 978-1444707724
Publisher Sceptre
 

It's Friday in the Leeke household, but this is no ordinary Friday: the Leekes are Lancastrian Mormons and tonight they will be welcoming back their son Gary from his two-year mission in Utah. His mother, Pauline, wants his homecoming to be perfect. Unfortunately, no one else seems to be following the script. In turn, the members of the family let us into their private thoughts and plans. There's teenage Jeannie, wrestling with a disastrous secret; her peculiar elder brother, Julian, who's plotting an exit according to his own warped logic; their father, Martin, dreaming of escape; and 'golden boy' Gary, who dreads his return. Then there's Pauline, who needs a doctor's help but won't ask for it. As the day progresses, a meltdown looms. Except that nothing goes according to anyone's plan, and the outcome is as unexpected as it is shocking. Laced with black humour and giving an unusual insight into the Mormon way of life, this is a superbly orchestrated and arresting tale of human folly and foibles and what counts in times of crisis.

Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth

Reviews

The Independent on Sunday

James Kidd

Narrated from five different points of view, this deft, funny and often unsettling quintet of dramatic monologues gradually harmonises into a sensational plot.

13/01/2013

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The Sunday Times

Alison Flood

Ashworth, who was raised as a Mormon herself, writes in her acknowledgments that while researching the novel she was “reminded of the warmth, humour and diversity” of the Latter-day Saints community in ­Lancashire and Utah, and her glimpse into this world succeeds in being both revealing and affectionately humorous … It is a small canvas — one family, on one day, in one small town — but Ashworth uses it to lead her readers to the heights and depths of human behaviour,poking into dark corners and disturbing thoughts, never stumbling.

13/01/2012

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The Guardian

Stevie Davies

The fivefold plot surges towards mayhem and meltdown, cresting in a spree of comic excess. Any one character's problems would have been enough to ensure a saturnalian ending, but as the long-deferred climax comes, everything explodes – a greenhouse bursts into smithereens; Dad's erotic object becomes Mum's helpmeet; a black sheep finds a glorious mission. The plot is madly over determined. But in the end, who cares? Justice is done.

18/01/2013

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The Daily Mail

Amber Pearson

Drawing on the author’s own background in the Mormon church and narrated in turn by each member of the flawed family, this is a rare opportunity to gain an insight into a usually closed community. Written with both affection and dark humour, this is a clever and memorable novel.

17/01/2013

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The Spectator

Beth Jones

he Friday Gospels is a more subtle work than her previous two. Whereas up to now Ashworth has tended towards clunky and occasionally predictable plots, this latest work shows she has grown more skilled in hiding the raw mechanics of her storytelling. Here, her familiar mix of violence and dark humour are finely wrought into a sympathetic, forgiving and absorbing portrait of family life.

17/01/2012

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