“I can’t see success at the end of the road,” said Archbishop Ralph. “I think the result will be what the result of impartiality always is. No one will like us, and everyone will condemn us.”
“I know that, so does His Holiness. But we can do nothing else. And there is nothing to prevent our praying in private for the speedy downfall of Il Duce and Der Führer, is there?”
“Do you really think there will be war?”
“I cannot see any possibility of avoiding it.”
His Eminence’s cat stalked out of the sunny corner where it had been sleeping, and jumped upon the scarlet shimmering lap a little awkwardly, for it was old.
“Ah, Sheba! Say hello to your old friend Ralph, whom you used to prefer to me.”
The satanic yellow eyes regarded Archbishop Ralph haughtily, and closed. Both men laughed.
Even though this book is mostly known as a romance novel, there is a lot more to it than a soppy love story. I love the discussions of church politics. Now that I have read McCulloch's First Man in Rome, I get a how skilled she was in packing a lot of information into dialogues rather than hitting the reader over the head with long explanations.
So, yeah, soppy love story and all but it also has bite, fun, smarts to it.
The only thing right now is that it feels kinda weird reading this at the same time as a book about Pope Francis...