Brodrick, William 1960-
BRODRICK, William 1960-
PERSONAL: Born 1960, in Lancashire, England.; married; children: three. Hobbies and other interests: "Plays trumpet, piano, and guitar."
ADDRESSES: Home—Normandy, France. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Viking, 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014.
CAREER: Writer. Former Augustinian friar, charity organizer, and barrister.
The Sixth Lamentation, Viking (New York, NY), 2003.
SIDELIGHTS: An interesting personal background paves the way for William Brodrick's first novel, The Sixth Lamentation. A resident of France, Brodrick spent much of his childhood in Canada and Australia, eventually becoming an Augustinian friar and then a barrister. Along the way Brodrick learned to play the trumpet, piano, and guitar. He also conquered cancer. More than anything, though, Brodrick always wanted to be a writer—even from the time he wrote a book about the First World War when he was nine years old. Brodrick's life experiences mold the story told in The Sixth Lamentation, a novel Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly called a "brashly original, thoughtful courtroom thriller."
The Sixth Lamentation was inspired by the memories Brodrick had of his own mother, who in 1942 was arrested by the German Gestapo while trying to smuggle a Jewish child out of Amsterdam. Brodrick's mother survived the Holocaust, but the images never left Brodrick's mind. In The Sixth Lamentation, two stories converge as an elderly woman in England, Agnes Aubret, struggles with a terminal illness several decades after she and a group of others organized to help Jewish children escape imprisonment by the Nazis. Meanwhile, a suspected Nazi war criminal, Eduard Schwermann, is seeking sanctuary at a monastery in the English countryside to avoid being arrested for his horrific actions in the past. Schwermann, seen on television by Aubret, is the same person who broke up Aubret's Resistance group during the war. This revelation sparks a flood of emotion from Aubret, who relays her wartime experiences to her granddaughter, Lucy. While Lucy conducts her own investigations into the matter, the Vatican asks Father Anselm, an ex-lawyer turned monk, to investigate on behalf of the church. What follows is a murky mystery where crucial aspects of the story are not as they seem. As Lucy tries to find answers before her grandmother dies, Anselm tries to make sense of the evidence.
Many reviewers found The Sixth Lamentation to be an engrossing tale of justice and betrayal. Keir Graff of Booklist noted that "though Brodrick builds tension slowly (he's better at foreshadowing than planting clues), he's mapped his plot masterfully, and his approach to the thorny issues of justice and punishment is thoughtful and complex." Other reviewers simply praised the fine writing from the first-time novelist. Library Journal's Angela Graven found The Sixth Lamentation to be an "engrossing first novel." And Kate Ayers of Book Reporter wrote: "While this is his first book, he writes with the polish of a veteran author and brings his readers a story filled with tragedy, love, redemption and forgiveness."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Book, July-August, 2003, review of The Sixth Lamentation, p. 21.
Booklist, July, 2003, Keir Graff, review of The SixthLamentation, p. 1862.
Entertainment Weekly, July 25, 2003, Ken Tucker, review of The Sixth Lamentation, p. 77.
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2003, review of The SixthLamentation, pp. 695-696.
Library Journal, July, 2003, Angela Graven, review of The Sixth Lamentation, p. 119.
BookPage,http://www.bookpage.com/ (October 24, 2003), author description of The Sixth Lamentation.
Book Reporter,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (October 24, 2003), Kate Ayers, review of The Sixth Lamentation.
Guardian Unlimited,http://www.books.guardian.co.uk/ (April 12, 2003), review of The Sixth Lamentation.
Scotsman,http://www.edinburgh-festivals.com/ (August 20, 2003).*