Fludd | Hilary Mantel

I can only characterise this as ‘Father Ted’ meets ‘The Master and Margarita’. The lives of faithless alcoholic Father Angwin and his eccentric housekeeper Miss Dempsey are thrown into disarray when the mysterious Father Fludd takes up residence at their grim rectory in a grim Northern village. Spiritual anarchy and very peculiar behaviour ensue.

If you only associate Hilary Mantel with weighty historical chronicles, you should know that she also excels at dark tragi-comic tales of nuns on the run, time-travelling occultists, satanic tobacconists and human combustion, in a terrifyingly pithy Muriel Spark-esque style. Although fizzing with sharp wit and joyfully satirising the Catholic church, there is a tenderness towards the human need for rituals, symbols, myths and magic as well, some multi-layered thinky stuff, and a surprisingly happy ending, of sorts. Perfectly wonderful.