07 May 2020, The Tablet

Speed reading: Lucy Popescu enjoys fiction in translation


 

Tommy Wieringa’s The Blessed Rita (Scribe UK, £16.99; Tablet price, £15.29) is set in the rural Netherlands, where middle-aged Paul lives with his father and collects German militaria. Rita is the patron saint of lost causes and the name of the prostitute Paul frequents. Tommy Wieringa paints a compelling portrait of a marginalised society, a Catholic community which prefers to listen to the weekend services on the radio. A Brazilian priest serves three parishes: “Missionary work was coming back in style, but now it was the poor Europeans who needed help.”

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