Skellig michael

Three men on a pilgrimage: Haven, by Emma Donoghue, reviewed

I used to envy Catholic novelists – Graham Greene, Muriel Spark, François Mauriac – as having that extra point of view, namely eternity. The Irish-Canadian novelist Emma Donoghue doesn’t entirely qualify as a Catholic writer, even though she’s on record as saying she’s currently obsessed with Catholic theology, specifically Purgatory, but there’s a thread of Catholicism (particularly the Irish variety) in many of her books. Also, it has to be said that she’s frightfully good at suffering and endurance. I thought this when reading her 2020 novel The Pull of the Stars, set in the 1918 flu epidemic, and Haven is no exception. This must surely be her most Catholic