Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.


This week’s book:

The Crime of Father Amaro by José Maria Eça de Queirós

1008335Blurb from Goodreads

Eça de Queiro’s novel is a lurid satire of clerical corruption in a town in Portugal during a period before and after the 1871 Paris Commune.

“Young, virile Father Amaro arrives in Leira and is taken in as a lodger by São Joaneira. Her budding, devout, dewy-lipped daughter Amélia is soon lusted after by the young priest. What ensues is a secret love affair amidst a host of compelling minor characters: Canon Dias, a priest, glutton, and Sao Joaneira’s lover; Dona Maria da Assuncao, a wealthy widow with a roomful of religious relics, agog at any hint of sex; Joao Eduardo, repressed atheist, free-thinker, and suitor to Amelia. Eca’s incisive critique flies like a shattering mirror, jabbing everything from the hypocrisy of a rich and powerful Church, to the provincialism of Portuguese society of the time.

Haunting, The Crime of Father Amaro is the ghost of a forgotten religion of tolerance, wisdom, and equality. Margaret Jull Costa has rendered an exquisite translation and provides an informative introduction to a story that truly spans all ages.” “The Crime of Father Amaro inspired a series of magnificent paintings by the Portuguese artist Paula Rego, one of which graces the cover of this edition. The novel was also made into a controversial film, El Crimen del Padre Amaro by Mexican director Carlos Carrera in 2002.”

Why I Want To Read It

It wasn’t until today that I have heard of Portuguese writer José Maria Eça de Queirós or his work, The Crime of Father Amaro which I am featuring in this weeks’ Goodreads Monday post. I just came across the book and its esteemed writer through Diana @ Thoughts on Papyrus who gave a very vivid, detailed, and persuasive review of the book.

What immediately caught my attention was the book’s intriguing premise; my curiosity does have the tendency to be piqued by highly controversial and intriguing subjects. It can be seen with some of my recent reads – Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, Kate Elizabeth Russell’s My Dark Vanessa, and Jeanine Cummins’ American Dirt. From the blurb, I can sense some vestiges of Lolita. To be fair, The Crime of Father Amaro was published way ahead of the more contemporary Lolita.

The fact that The Crime of Father Amaro involves the Church makes it even more interesting for we are all cognizant of the allegations hurled towards the Church. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against the Church but the subject the book covers are not unheard of. I am curious how Eça de Queiro explored and handled several sensitive but provocative subjects, such as lust, love, and religion. I am hoping for one thing now, to encounter a copy of the book in online bookstores or my local bookstore.

And thus ends my Goodreads Monday post! How about you fellow reader, what book do you want to read? I hope you can share it in the comment box. For now, happy reading! Have a great week ahead!