This week. The Catholic Herald begins serialising a novel by our former editor, Cristina Odone, that will appear in weekly instalments. The novel is entitled The Choice and, like many Victorian tales serialised in their day, it is beginning before the end has even been written.
The Choice is based around an appalling dilemma that has special meaning for Cristina. As the film Lorenzo's Oil relates, her young brother was struck down with a paralysing illness, adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), that trapped him in his body until his death this year, at the age of 30. His father, Augusto, invented an oil that has proved effective in the treatment of ALD; Cristina herself combined tireless efforts for Augusto's charity, The Myelin Project, while also working long hours at this newspaper. The Choice is partly the result of that experience, and partly stimulated by life-and-death dilemmas in the public sphere. Novels can bring these situations to life very poignantly; this one is no exception.