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THE BENEFITS OF PASSION

'A delightful novel: funny, life-enhancing and humane . . . Above all, she displays a genuine ability to make religion palatable for a secular age. Forget The Rector's Wife [Joanna Trollope's bestselling 1992 novel], this is the real thing.'- Michael Arditti, Independent


'She has again succeeded in creating a cast of compelling characters (some of whom made their first appearance in Angels and Men), whose fate one becomes anxious to discover.' - Kate Chisholm, Sunday Telegraph


'Fox . . . writes this provocative and witty story as if she were on springs, her exuberant style happily combining comedy with religious argument . . . thoroughly enjoyable.' - Good Housekeeping


Annie Brown, wrestling with doubts about her faith and a biological clock the size of Big Ben, escapes the stifling kindness of her fellow ordinands and the stifled yelps of her sexuality by writing a raunchy novel.


Yet Annie can no more control her characters than she could a congregation. Outrageous Isabella and butter-wouldn't-melt Barney hurtle unbidden into difficult situations that lead Annie inexorably back to her own repressed upbringing and present predicament. Some of their liberation rubs off on her too, and when she meets brusque outsider Will, Annie plunges into passion as uninhibitedly as Isabella.


But Annie's vocation, like her libido, won't lie down, and she despairs of finding a happy ending to either of her stories . . .