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Fox, Catherine

vicar characters

(British, 1961– )

Catherine Fox's novels reflect the tensions of trying to reconcile a religious nature with the demands of the flesh. In Angels and Men (1995), vicar's daughter Mara Johns negotiates her way through a stormy year of university. Damaged by involvement with a cult, she learns to trust people again and falls for unorthodox ordinand Johnny Whitaker, a former petty criminal who has turned to God. The characters reappear in minor roles in The Benefits of Passion (1997), in which Annie Brown, training for the priesthood, escapes the naggings of her hormones via the erotic novel she is secretly writing. Fox, who has a doctorate in theology and is married to a vicar, knows her territory. Her characters recoil instinctively from the prissiness and pomposity of church mores. However, though she delights in pulling back the veils of propriety, Fox never mocks belief.

Katie Fforde, Barbara Trapido, Sara Maitland  CB

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