Reissue of the author's most famous and well-loved work, the Starbridge series, six self-contained yet interconnected novels that explore the history of the Church of England through the 20th century.
1968, with the swinging sixties sliding into decadence, finds Nicholas Darrow wrestling with overwhelming personal problems: How can he bring himself to marry his fiancee, Rosalind, when he is unable to avoid promiscuity? How can he become a priest when he finds it so difficult to live as one? And how can he break his dangerous dependence on his father Jon, whose psychic gifts he shares?
It is at this crucial moment in his life that Nick becomes involved in the mystery surrounding his friend, Christian Aysgarth. Gradually, he realises that discovering the truth about this enigmatic and complex man will unlock the answers to his own baffling problems. However, his journey through darkness into the light reverses all the old certainties and, in his experiments with the psychic powers, Nick risks even his own life and sanity.
'One of the most original novelists writing today' Cosmopolitan
'She is writing for anyone who can recognise that mysterious gift of the true storyteller' Daily Telegraph
`Arguably no one writing today can equal Howatch's ability to write compelling novels that combine theology and psychology in a complex, fast-moving plot offering beautifully delineated characters and the suspense of a mystery thriller' Publishers Weekly
`A fascinating, mind-bending exposition... Howatch wins out' Sunday Times'
`Taking on the style of a psychological thriller...Mystical Paths covers in a profound and theologically thoughtful way the powers of light and powers of darkness...Her success should not go unrewarded' Catholic Herald
'Howatch writes thrillers of the heart and mind ...everything in a Howatch novel cuts close to the bone and is of vital concern' New Woman
Susan Howatch was born in Surrey in England. After taking a degree in law at King's College, London, she emigrated to America where she married, had a daughter, and embarked on her career as a writer. In 1976 she separated from her husband, left America and lived in the Republic of Ireland for four years before returning to England. While living in a flat overlooking Salisbury Cathedral and "trying to hold my divided self together", she found herself inspired by the beauty of the cathedral and became a convert. She wondered if she should continue producing romantic novels. Instead, she wrote the series of six Starbridge novels about the Church of England in the 20th century, all of which reflect her own spiritual crises.