No Other Life, By Brian Moore

 

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The Independent Culture

There is a quietly earth-shattering moment in Moore's 17th novel, first published in 1993, in which Paul Michel, a Canadian missionary in the Caribbean island of Ganae (whose political volatility was based on Haiti's), arrives at his once-devout mother's deathbed to hear her deliver her final epiphany: "There is no other life". She means no heaven and no God.

Her words rebound through this novel to form an interrogation of faith - religious and political - as Paul follows the fate of his adopted son, who becomes a quasi-Messianic political contender in Ganae, standing up against the island's history of elitism and dictatorship.

An extraordinary book of profound questions, asked within a sprintingly-paced political thriller format.

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