Holy Week


152 pages
ISBN 0-919599-15-X





Reviewed by P.J. Kemp

P.J. Kemp was a journalist living in Brigham, Quebec.


The Reverend Jason Hallweek and his wife are sent to a Northern Ontario mining area to minister to the Anglican flock there. It isn’t an easy transplant from Toronto to the wilds and chaos of the North. In fact, the Reverend Hallweek almost has an emotional breakdown during Easter Week, as a result of domestic difficulties and parish pressures. But then a mining disaster strikes, during which the Reverend proves his strength, faith, and compassion beyond all doubt.

But Paul Scott Wilson’s first novel almost fails, ironically because of the inclusion of elements Wilson seems to think are central to the novel. When he lets his characters move through their little adventures and miseries in their own way, Holy Week works. Wilson’s characters and some of the situations are often quite natural and believable. It’s when he throws in great oozing gobs of Freud, psychological soap opera, and painfully strained metaphors that the book comes to embarrassingly awkward halts. Worse, these “time-outs” to preach to the reader about the deep psychological significance of it all comprise at least half the book’s content.

It is to be hoped that the self-conscious padding is only a symptom of first-novel over-extension.


Wilson, Paul Scott, “Holy Week,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/37191.