The Village

Eliade Moldovan

Publisher: Eliade Moldovan Pages: 267 Price: (paperback) $15.99 ISBN: 9781738324200 Reviewed: April, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

The Village is a modern-day drama focusing on a geographically isolated agrarian religious community called Orinsland, where a morally questionable priest has assumed the role of town leader.

The story centers on Father Quinn’s relationship with his Christian congregation, some of whom support his dogmatic approach to faith and some who are unconvinced by his unbending religious values.

At the novel’s commencement, newcomers the Mulroneys arrive in Orinsland so that Peter Mulroney can work as a technician maintaining the village’s TV reception station. Peter’s 16-year-old daughter, Anna, struggles to adapt to the community. Having difficulty cultivating relationships due to her non-conformist attitude, Anna is befriended by smitten teenager Mike, delinquent youth Valery, and former town-leader-turned-teacher, Professor Trent, whose liberalism clashes with prevailing Orinsland outlooks.

Following a tragedy in the community resulting from the growing rift between Father Quinn’s acolytes and more open-minded parishioners, Anna starts to question Quinn’s autocratic teachings. Tensions quickly escalate between the two groups, culminating in a murderous vendetta and an apocalyptic final act.

Author Eliade Moldovan has crafted a philosophically challenging meditation on the perils of fundamentalism, presenting a cautionary tale of a society governed by religious intolerance, where compassion and inclusivity have been subdued by fearmongering. To ensure that the different psycho-social circumstances of community members—such as humourless zealot Colt, and vengeful father, Liam—are thoughtfully explored, Moldovan employs a balanced structure, focusing each chapter on a specific character. This avoids the potential for bias inherent in a single-character perspective.

That said, the story predominantly belongs to relatable fish-out-of-water Anna; Mike, whose romantic interest in Anna leads him into conflict with his own religious values, and Father Quinn.

Although some readers might wish for more periodic relief from the novel’s bleak tone and oppressive subject, overall, The Village is a brave novel that successfully presents its case for a more liberal society.

Author's Current Residence
Toronto, Ontario
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