Review | “The Crucible of Doubt: Dostoevsky’s Faith”

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It seems to me that neither Dostoevsky in his writing, or Fr John O’Brien in his coverage and study of it, underestimate the intelligence of the reader.

There were chapters of spell-bound intrigue as I was totally unfamiliar with Dostoevsky’s work. Fr John recounts and analyses character, motive, and action in an easy-to-read style – with so many complex passages in the books of Dostoevsky, this is no easy task.

I pray that Fr John is much blessed for what is undoubtedly a labour of great love. The Holy Spirit is as alive to us in the here and now as was the case at the time in which Dostoevsky’s novels are set. Fr John O ‘Brien goes to much length to illustrate and celebrate this great faith-held truth.

Fr John’s book is not a book of happy endings. Neither were the life journeys of those introduced in the writings of Dostoevsky. Much is left to us as readers and partakers in life’s work – to take up our role, to dream, to imagine and to trust in God, that we’ll make it through the night and see the dawn of tomorrow.

(Ann Murray 26/10/2022)