(Broken Vows Trilogy Book 1)
Before I go any further I must declare that I know and worked with Marty for several years before he retired. However, I believe this has not clouded my review.
‘Broken Vows’ is Book 1 of the ‘Broken Vows Trilogy’. ‘Broken Vows’ refers to the vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, which Catholic priests take, before they are ordained.
The opening of ‘Broken Vows’ sees three young men studying to be priests and discussing, at length, the meaning of these Vows. To say they come up with some interesting definitions of each Vow is understatement. These definitions combined with the Bishop’s view of simply moving priests to another parish when their warped proclivities were discovered and reported, provides an interesting opening to ‘Broken Vows’
‘Broken Vows’ is about these priests and a family with three boys at a Catholic boy’s boarding school in a time when children were to be seen and not heard. The seen and not heard comment applied especially if the child’s actions or thoughts could bring humiliation on family or school. The boys’ father often used the phrase “…these things don’t happen in Catholic schools…” and was more concerned with his family’s public persona than his boy’s well-being. This attitude resulted in the worst possible outcome for the family…followed by their eldest son leaving school without a word to anyone.
‘Broken Vows’ was a bit close to home for me for various reasons. I did attend a Catholic all boys’ boarding school during the sixties. Staff names were similar to some of those appearing in ‘Broken Vows’. We also had several boys disappear overnight as in ‘Broken Vows’. We all believed the version of their absence provided by the Rector without question. I don’t know of any rumours that may link any of our staff to the ‘Broken Vows’ activities. But how would we have known? Asking the Rector would have been out of the question.
I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Broken Vows’ and scenarios put forward by Marty. I felt ‘Broken Vows’ was fast paced and it was definitely one of those books which saw me wanting to read on into the early hours of the morning.
Attending a Catholic Boarding School is not a pre-requisite to enjoy ‘Broken Vows’. ‘Broken Vows’ could have been set within any Denomination and still been an enjoyable read.
I have already read and reviewed ‘Pennie’, a short story prequel to Book 2 of the Broken Vows Trilogy. May I suggest you do likewise?
I have rated ‘Broken Vows’ a solid four star read and added one more for an outstanding debut novel.
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