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Acts and Omissions:

(Lindchester #1)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  321 ratings  ·  52 reviews
The Bishop of Lindchester is happily married with four daughters. But does he have a secret? Archdeacon Matt is inclined to think not. That said, it's obvious to him that Bishop Paul's got a pretty big bee in his mitre about the brilliant but troubled Freddie May ...Welcome to the fictional Diocese of Lindchester. Conceived as an affectionate homage to Trollope's Barcheste ...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published July 17th 2014 by Marylebone House (first published June 20th 2014)
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  321 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Alexis Hall
This book just walked across my grave.

So, I have a fictional weakness that I don’t usually talk about. Given the secularity of my life, it tends to bewilder people to an extent that it becomes socially awkward. And then I get defensive and high-pitched and start waving my hands about. And it’s all bad.

But, I, uh ... I comfort read ... God, I don’t know what the genre is. I guess cassock rippers? Sex and scandal in the CoE. I can’t really explain why or how but books about church politics really
Derek Winterburn
May 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This divides its reviewers; while I dislike it as a whole, I can see that it has it strengths.

In many ways it is to be applauded. The author uses her perspective as a clergy wife to write a narrative that is full of little details, references and in-jokes that Anglicans will appreciate. It is good to read fiction that has an accurate knowledge of the Church. She knows how to plot and is adept at leading the reader to fear the worst, and then pull back from the obvious. It is of course remarkable
Aug 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
High comedy and low tragedy - not to speak of low comedy and high tragedy as well as humour, irony, deliciously naughty happenings and characters who you will love to bits fill this book to bursting point. If 'Acts and Omissions' were a bar of chocolate it would be the most delicious bar of chocolate you have ever tasted in your life - and one you would want to taste again and again and again. Don't be put off by the fact that it is set in a cathedral close somewhere in England and features cler ...more
Oct 26, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't finish... Narrating style too irritating. ...more
Jan 14, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really tried to keep going but gave up before halfway. I failed to care about any of the characters and felt patronised by the controlling narrator.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprised at how polarised opinions seem to be among reviewers, clearly not for everyone but I liked it. It first appeared in weekly instalments online as an experiment in Victorian-style serial publishing, with Trollope's Barchester not far away and a narrator's voice which consciously owes something to the same tradition. Funny, occasional perceptive comments about current affairs, and sometimes very sad. Guessing it is quite hard to please the sort of Anglicans who might be shocked at the lan ...more
Stephanie Matthews
I need that sixth star again!

I wasn't expecting to like this book at all. It's very churchy for one thing (given that it's about an Anglican community and most of the main characters are vicars of one variety or another) but I absolutely loved it. You see, the characters are very real, with very believable problems and dilemmas, and flawed in a very human way. Even the ordained ones. I hadn't realised how much I had invested in them until I got to the end, and I had a little weep. It's a lovely
Dec 26, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
I truly loved Catherine Fox's earlier novels, and assumed that to a large extent this would be similar. Wrong. Firstly, it differed in insofar as, being developed from a blog, the narrator is ever-intrusive which I found changed entirely the nature of the thing and rendered it self-conscious. Secondly it was heavy-handed with its promotion of both Christianity and gay marriage, neither of which interest me. So yes, it was mildly entertaining. In parts. But I won't be seeking out the sequel, not ...more
Jan Jones
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Acts and Omissions when Catherine Fox posted it as a weekly blog. I love it even more when reading it all in one go without having to wait until the next episode!

The cast of characters is huge, but none of them feel anything less than three-dimensional. The issues raised are also huge, but because the writing is so clear and sharp and downright FUNNY, there is no sense of being preached to. You simply enter into all the emotional conflict along with the characters, willing them on, winci
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved it. As a C of E Reader who works in a University I could identify with each and every character, place and many of the situations. I recognised all the references to other bits of literature too, from the Bible to Molesworth, and felt as if I were at home. I quickly had to buy the rest of the trilogy and currently am skulking away in corners to finish the last so I can find what happens to everyone.
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this. It was a perfect read on a snowy weekend when my plans had gone awry. I laughed, a cried. I read the second book last year, and now I might (very rarely for me) go back and read it again so I'm reading them in sequence. I particularly enjoyed the gentle references to faith and bible verses, which were slipped in so naturally. ...more
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a brilliant book!!
Obviously it will mean so much more to those in the Church of England, but even if not, it is an amusing story which has so many poignant and deep moments which make you reflect on life and how we conduct ourselves in the world. Highly recommended.
Katie Grainger
Mar 15, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really excited to read Acts and Omissions. Well I mean for a start given that I work for a Cathedral I was interested to see if life in a Cathedral and Diocese were captured as I had experienced them. This book really is spot on for how things are working in the C of E. I mean I shouldn't have expected anything less given that Catherine Fox is the wife of a Cathedral Dean.

The book is funny, witty and full of the best characters. I loved Matt the Archdeacon and the Dean and her husband. Th
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pure gold!

Love this book from beginning to end. Different style to the three earlier novels I also adored, but - such style, such naughtiness, such grace! For anyone who’s been involved in church life (not necessarily C of E), you may see yourself or someone you know... or at very least, recognise the characters’ dilemmas and empathise with their very human reactions. I’m buying the sequel immediately!
Bridget Simpson
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. Highly recommend it if you want a sassy feel good read 💃
Feb 03, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
On the other end of the spectrum of ecclesiastical literature from the delightful Barchester Towers, I found myself deeply disappointed in this offering from Catherine Fox. I pulled the ripcord at Page 12. Though you may feel that twelve pages doesn't give me any right to review, I will say that before I gave up I thumbed through the book for many, many pages to confirm my dread - yep, still terrible. To the very end.

It wasn't the profanity, however heavily applied it was (and it was) - is it s
David Rae
This was recommended to me by a friend and I really wanted to like it, but I don't.
There are things to admire. It does give an insight into the world of cloisters and curates, a world still surprisingly medieval and full of color (purple mostly). It is well written in chatty slightly arch way. But I didn't find it particularly engaging, and ultimately I found the tone of the narrator grating. Imagine being stuck in a lift with Stephen Fry, entertaining for a while, but in the end just irritating
Loved it, loved it, loved it!!! Fox has a wicked sense of humor, a good insight in the thought and vocabulary of clergy-circles, a feeling for the ridiculous, knowledge of the (church)classics and she presents a God I can believe in. I also liked the fact that Andrew Jacks reappeared in this novel and is still insufferable as ever! I really missed him.
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Martha by: Archbishop Colin Johnson
Shelves: ebooks
Loved it. Loved it so much. The church politics, the lines from hymns and prayers slid into the text, the characters, the narrative style... I've been waiting for a couple years to read this, and now I can't wait to read the next ones. ...more
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2018
Catherine Fox is one of my favourite authors. I read her first three fiction books (Angels and Men etc) in my early 20s and have re-read them several times. I was so excited to see that she’d written three more and they were available on Scribd.

Fox tells the story as the author describing what her characters are doing (third person subjective voice? Had to look that up). It’s engaging although sometimes distracting, but happens less in the latter half of the book. As a sometime-Anglican I love
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read other books by Catherine Fox, I was looking forward to this. At first I was disappointed. The author talks about "you, the reader" and "as the novelist" and constantly reminds you that you're reading a novel. That way, you stand outside the story, looking in from a distance.
However, as the novel goes on, she does this less and I got to know and like the character. There are a lot of them, maybe a bit too many. Some you get to know better than others. I got more and more drawn into th
Jul 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book I found both entertaining and annoying. Nothing much happens until nearly halfway through, when suddenly the lives of the main characters are thrown into disarray by an event so unlikely that it made me cringe. Yes, things like this do happen, but not to characters like these. I don't mean because they are essentially good people, but because it is simply out of character. It must have been hard to think up something shocking enough to compare with a Trollope plot, where even the rumour o ...more
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend in England recommended this novel and I found it delightful. It is written by an author with insights into how the Church of England works on various levels and with a wicked sense of humor. Her narrator flies us in and out of situations throughout one particular bishopric. The cast of characters is long and, with a book which goes from January through December, I was well into May before I figured most everyone out. But I learned a lot about the cathedrals and churches I love to visit ...more
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I find it difficult to believe that the C of E has QUITE so high a percentage of gay clergy (closet or otherwise) as this novel would tend to suggest, but if you can get past that, it's a cracking good read. The writing is quirky and engaging, and the characters are (mostly) sympathetic and memorable.

If you're a member of the clergy, or someone with an interest in the C of E generally, I think you'll love this. I'd probably describe it as a sort of cross between 'Rev' and 'Barchester Towers'.
Gael Browne
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lent to me in a genius move by my Vocations Advisor, this introduction to Lindchester has given me a speedy overview of the CofE, warts and all. It showcases the bizarre, beautiful, and broken parts, with humour and a bit of naughtiness. In all of it, though, there’s relentless grace. The Church is a machine that most people will never fully understand; even those of us in it. But the individuals that make up the moving parts often have their hearts in the right place.
It took a few chapters to g
Rachel Broughton
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Pratezina
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book!! It was such a surprise! It's smartly written, clever, very funny and very moving. Don't let the religious subject matter throw you off. This is a book set in and about a parish in the Church of England but it is no for religious people, which may be why I found it to be such a spiritually uplifting read. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. ...more
Kathleen Jowitt
Re-read, because I picked up a paperback in a charity shop to supplement my existing ebook, and then recommended it to somebody else ('if you like what I do, you might like this'). I think this is probably the strongest of the Lindchester books, and it's certainly one that steps on fewer of my personal sore spots. Anyway, it's a huge amount of fun, and painfully well-observed. ...more
I absolutely adore this book. I love the arch narratorial voice, with its interjections and admonishments, the aerial tours of the town and countryside, the theatricality and campness of the clergy, the Cathedral Close atmosphere (and can vouch for the last two being spot on) - it made me nostalgic for the daily sight of red-robed canons scurrying into the cathedral as the bell rings for evensong - by the end I felt as if many of the characters were personal friends.
Judy Ford
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting new take on life in the cathedral close - a modern version of the Bartchester Chronicles. I enjoyed seeing the various characters develop through the course of teh book, which covers a year in the life of Lindchester diocese,
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Catherine Fox was educated at Durham and London Universities and has a degree in English and a PhD in Theology. She is the author of Angels and Men, The Benefits of Passion and Love for the Lost, which explore the themes of the spiritual and the physical with insight and humour. In 2007, Yellow Jersey Press published Fight the Good Fight: From Vicar's Wife to Killing Machine in which Catherine rel ...more

Other books in the series

Lindchester (4 books)
  • Unseen Things Above: (Lindchester Chronicles 2)
  • Realms of Glory: (Lindchester Chronicles 3)
  • Tales from Lindford (Lindchester Chronicles 4)

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