The Quiet of the Church: A Novella

William Pittam, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


This novella follows the story of Robert, his partner, Helen, and their son, Tom, after their move from England to Wales. Robert has taken a job on a small farm owned by Paul Harrow, a painter from London. Paul's marriage seems to Robert as uncertain as his own relationship with Helen, and he develops a quiet bond with Caroline, the artist's wife. Helen is fascinated by Paul and his prodigal daughter, Nicola, and begins to take painting lessons from the artist. She encourages Tom to join her; she wants him to develop his own artistic talents. As the story progresses, we see Robert's uncertainty about his relationship with his own family deepen, including his identity as a father.