The Road to Grantchester by James Runcie
by John Bradley
This novel is an introduction to the author’s hero, Sidney Chambers. It opens with Sidney being engaged in the Allies’ invasion of Italy in 1943 at Monte Cassino. There he comes across an Army Chaplain and a seed is sown which eventually leads to the greatest change in Sidney’s life as he becomes ordained. Grantchester is a Cambridgeshire village and is his first appointment as a vicar. Before that it is a tale of love, and the difficulties of a return to civilian life, particularly given the personal losses of friends which Sidney endured in Italy. The novel is replete with insight into the losses and loves of this likeable character. It is a preamble to Runcie’s series on Sidney’s life as a vicar, and is not without observations on his faith with which we would all agree.
James Runcie is the son of a previous Archbishop of Canterbury. His Grantchester Mysteries series was shown on ITV in 2014 and has recently been repeated on ITV3. A easy read with a good story-line.