Simon Chance, Anglican bishop and former missionary, has withdrawn in mid-life to research his enduring mentor Dante, creator of The Divine Comedy. He is recently widowed, after the prolonged descent into dementia of his devoted wife Marigold. To recuperate from bereavement, he is invited by a life-long confidante, Clare, to join a house party of several friends from their university days in the hills behind St Tropez in southern France. The reunion coincides with the collapse of global banking confidence. On a walk in the forest of the Massif des Maures surrounding the villa, in search of a church abandoned centuries ago, Chance loses his way – in a ‘dark wood’, as once experienced by Dante – while the night turns wild. Marigold has not been the only love of Chance. The passionate liaison of his earlier life, pre-ordination, was with a student botanist. This very Evie, with her Parliamentarian spouse, is about to join the house party of Clare and a vital element in that intense, abandoned youthful liaison is yet to be reconciled with Chance’s ordained self. The working-through of the nature of love, physical and spiritual, in love’s innocence and purity, will redeem or destroy him. Or both.
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A Dark and Stormy Night
To that which we give the name of Love, be it of the flesh or of God, is it ever less than divine? Simon Chance, Anglican bishop and former missionary, has withdrawn in mid-life to research his enduring mentor Dante, creator of The Divine Comedy. On a walk in the forest of the Massif des Maures, in search of a church abandoned centuries ago, Chance loses his way – in a ‘dark wood’, as once experienced by Dante – while the night turns wild. In paperback and ePub
Tom Stacey is best known as a prize-winning author and man of letters. But his temperament and course of life have carried him frequently to the scene of action. His has been a life of unusual range: as traveller, especially in remote and challenging regions; as roving correspondent, outstandingly for the Sunday Times, covering the world scene and taking him to over 120 countries; as penal reformer, political theorist, Christian activist, and entrepreneurial publisher.
Tom Stacey's adventurous life has given him extraordinary tales to tell. A born writer, he offers us reflective wisdom put down memorably and pleasurably in a unique voice. His work has been acclaimed by writers as varied as Nina Bawden, Philip Zeigler, Rowan Williams, Christopher Hill and Orville Prescott and John Gray.
Tom Stacey and his wife, the widely-exhibited sculptor Caroline Stacey, have 5 children, numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His website is http://tomstacey.com.