cover easterThe parish of St Mary-in-the-Vale. Hampstead is preparing for Easter. In his Palm Sunday sermon, the Vicar explains that Christ’s crucifixion and redemption are taking place every day. He little suspects that, before the week is out, he and his entire congregation will be caught up in a latter-day Passion story which will tear apart their lives.

Easter offers both a challenging portrait of the contemporary Church of England and a reworking of the central myth of Western culture. Its rich gallery of characters range from a Holocaust survivor and an African princess to AIDS patients and Queen Elizabeth II. Shocking events unfold against a backdrop of religious services. High Church ritual, evangelical revivalism and the ancestor-worship of the English gentry all come under scrutiny in a radical fusion of the sacred and profane.

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