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Be Near Me by Andrew O'Hagan

Be Near Me tells the story of David Anderton, a Catholic priest born in Edinburgh and educated in England who is assigned to a parish in Dalgarnock, a decaying Irish town with different residents sympathetic to the Orange or IRA causes. Anderton, though, takes no interest in his parishioners, enduring their ill will towards him. He's been grieving for thirty years for the man he loved who died in an auto accident. The only people in the city with whom he spends time are the local teenagers who live life on the edge, committing petty crimes and indulging in drugs. He senses the life in them that he misses, and finds himself attracted to one of them, Mark. After a night of drinking, Ecstasy, and dancing, he kisses Mark. This act turns his parishioners on him, providing a conduit for their anger, as they accuse him of being a paedophile. Andrew O'Hagan's novel has received positive reviews (and a Booker nomination) with The Guardian saying, "This is a nuanced, intense and complex treatment of a sad and simple story. Read it twice."
Buy Be Near Me by Andrew O'Hagan

The Guardian review by Hilary Mantel

The Observer review by David Jays

London Times review by Ruth Scurr

San Francisco Chronicle review by Dan Zigmond

Andrew O'Hagan
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