Pay it Forward.
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Brian O’Hare, MA, Ph.D., is a retired assistant director of a large regional college of further and higher education. Married, three children, ten grandchildren, one great grandchild. He plays golf three times a week off a ten handicap and does a lot of voluntary work. Any writing he has previously done was academic…very much restricted to a very specific readership. Several articles in educational journals were followed by a number of book-length reports for the Dept. of Education and the University of Ulster. He has also written an interesting biography of a man who daily performs amazing miracles of healing…The Miracle Ship. That’s with an American publisher…hopefully to be published within the next year. He had a liver disease since childhood which resulted in him taking early retirement a number of years ago. In 2002 he had a liver transplant but is strong and healthy now. He continued to do academic writing well into his retirement and followed that with a memoir about his liver transplant, dealing with the physical, emotional and spiritual experiences that came from that period in his life (A Spiritual Odyssey, published by Columba Press, Dublin). Recently he experienced a desire to write fiction. Hence Fallen Men. It is a story about three priests…but it is religious in much the same way Thornbirds was religious. He has also finsihed a second book (see BOOKS). It’s quite different from Fallen Men… a detective mystery inspired by an old 14th centure painting of the Last Judgement. It’s called “The Doom Murders”. He is currently writing a third book, “The 11.05 Killings” featuring the same detectives as in The Doom Murders. Reviews: 5 star! When I embarked on the journey of reading the novel Fallen Men by Brian O’Hare, I was uncertain of what to expect. Was it a book on the Catholic religion? A book about personal relationships? A book on spirituality? Psychology? Faith? God? Sin? What? As I traveled down the labyrinth of this compelling novel, I found that it was all of that—and so much more. O’Hare, with both tender sensitivity and bold accusation, has created a story that is bound to touch the human spirit, a story you will not soon forget. The narrative is about three young Catholic priests, each with a profound and abiding love for his God, a solemn dedication to his vocation—his calling to the priesthood—and a sincere desire to serve mankind. But in spite of their deep devotion, each in his own fashion loses his step along the way. One would not expect a story where three priests would become involved in selfish motivation, illicit sex, abortion, child abuse, and accusations of murder. And yet O’Hare, with both delicate finesse and explicit detail, explores the human element, the darkest secrets, of even the Catholic priesthood. O’Hare takes us inside the minds of these young men as they struggle to understand their actions, their motivations, their vulnerabilities, and the fiber of their faith. Fallen Men is a lesson in human suffering, in weakness and uncertainty, in the testing of faith, in compassion, and, ultimately, in the steadfastness of God’s love. It is also a book of hope—for if even men of God can find forgiveness for sin in His mercy, then surely there is hope for each of us. If you begin the journey into Fallen Men, do not expect a quick read. 5 stars! This is an insightful tale, well written, with structure and integrity. A flowing narrative and realistic dialogue are not always easy to achieve but Brian O Hare has managed to find the perfect balance. Living as I do next to a seminary and while long lapsed, I grew up in a very Irish Catholic world so I was able to recognise so much that was familiar in this book. The voice is so authentic and the themes are handled with great care and attention to detail. This is a book inhabited by priests, Catholicism, guilt, grief and the turmoil of a life lived in a world that we rarely get to glimpse. I ultimately found much of the book sad but that may just be my perspective and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is not a book I would automatically have picked up, but I was glad I did.
Find out more about Brian here:
Twitter Handle: @brianohare26
Facebook Page URL: https://www.facebook.com/brian.ohare.96