On its way to the Galapagos Islands, a light aircraft ditches into the sea. As the water floods through the cabin, zoologist Daniel Kennedy faces an impossible choice – should he save himself, or Nancy, the woman he loves?
In a parallel narrative, it is 1917 and Daniel’s great-grandfather Andrew is preparing to go over the top at Passchendaele. He, too, will have his courage tested, and must live with the moral consequences of his actions. Back in London, the atheistic Daniel is wrestling with something his ‘cold philosophy’ cannot explain – something unearthly he thought he saw while swimming for help in the Pacific. But before he can make sense of it, the past must collapse into the present, and both he and Andrew must prove themselves capable of altruism, and deserving of forgiveness.
Praise for The Blasphemer
‘I finished this novel knowing that I had read something tremendous. A great achievement. The interweaving of the generations and the plots is masterly. The Blasphemer has real intellectual texture, too. And to take on the First World War as so very many have done and make it fresh is remarkable.’
‘Farndale’s evocation of the minutiae of trench warfare surpasses Sebastian Faulks’s Birdsong… Exquisite and luminous… Farndale gives a master class in the power of literature to illuminate the physical world and the human soul.’
Venero Armanno, The Australian
‘Does suspense exceptionally well…a book that won’t leave your fingernails intact… terrifically exciting and thought-provoking must-read.’
John Harding, Daily Mail
‘A fine novel; strange and unforgettable.’
Kate Saunders, The Times
‘Beautiful…Farndale’s elegant prose…and wise tolerance with which he views…characters lend his exhilarating novel a tenderly redemptive afterimage .’
Jane Shilling, Sunday Telegraph
‘He expertly dovetails the contrasting histories of Daniel Kennedy… and his great-grandfather Andrew… It is beautifully done. Five stars’
Max Davidson, Mail on Sunday
‘A constantly engaging and witty novel from a tremendously clever writer.’
Toby Clements, Daily Telegraph