Mr. Fortune’s Maggot by Sylvia Townsend Warner

viragomoderns_fleur_finalTimothy Fortune is called to the ministry. He leaves behind his profession in banking and embarks on the noble task of saving souls. His quiet ministry doesn’t quench his thirst for preaching and he embarks on a mission to the volcanic island of Fauna. The people of Fauna are welcoming and foreign to Mr. Fortune. Our kind, but flawed, missionary is not successful in his mission and only converts one person, a young man named Lueli. After a devastating volcanic eruption, Mr. Fortune must wrestle with his belief in God, his relation to the islanders, and his patronizing treatment of Lueli.

I loved this slim book. I think what I enjoyed most is that Mr Fortune is not villainous. He is type of person who usually wants to do good, but goes about it in a flawed way. Once he is able to view the islanders as people rather than Other, his philosophy of life is radically changed.

Sylvia Townsend Warner’s preface to the book is amazing. She talks about waking up from a dream and furiously writing a large portion of the book. Warner also discusses being inspired from a book of letters from an island missionary and she attests that the lush descriptions of the island inspired her immensely.

This slim book will be one that I revisit on occasion as I feel like I will learn something new each time I read it.

~~~ Stats ~~~

Started: 31 March 2015

Finished: 06 April 2015

Pages: 227

Challenges: Virago Project / TBR Challenge / Back to the Classics – Classic by a woman

Owned/Borrowed/Library: owned

Stars: 4.5 out of 5 stars




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