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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Begotten Not Made is a work of quirky and conceptual literary fiction penned by author Conal Creedon. Set in the rocky Irish scenery of a monastery and a convent, this sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant work explores the nature of love and relationships against a backdrop of Catholicism and the exploration of the miracle of Jesus’s conception. At its heart, the tale concerns Brother Scully, who looks out from his monastic tower to the window of Sister Claire at the convent, a woman he barely knows but is certain that he loves. When Sister Claire is not at her window for the first time in fifty years, Scully embarks on his own mission to act at last.
For readers who enjoy fully realized, unusual lead characters, look no further than Brother Scully for your enjoyment. Author Conal Creedon has created what feels like a real person, on whose shoulders we sit as the narration takes us deep into his life and work, his philosophy and his sense of love in moments which are both moving, bizarre and very amusing at times. The harsh backdrop of Irish life clashes beautifully with concepts of heavenly and mortal love, miracles and strange appearances, painting a world which is ethereal in its fairy tale moments yet painfully recognizable and relatable too. I particularly enjoyed the dynamic dialogue, as its pacing really moves scenes along. Overall, Begotten Not Made is a highly recommended read for literary fiction fans searching for truly unusual books that keep you thinking long after the last page is turned.