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The Evangelist

UK Publisher: Sceptre

I am not an evangelist. I am just a man in search of the truth.

Truth is the touchstone of Max Oldroyd’s world. When he was a young man, he pursued it with all the vigour of his rebellious spirit. It brought him the love of a good woman, the joys of a happy family life and fame as a scientific populariser who revealed the wonders of evolution to ordinary people. Even now, as he enters an embattled middle age, he still believes that the uncompromising beauty of truth is worth whatever pain his enemies might try to inflict.

So when a journalist writes a profile depicting him as a lonely failure whose rage against religion has robbed him of love, family and even reason, he determines to tell his version of events – and to discover who has betrayed the details of his private life. But as he delves further into the facts that constitute his own history, he discovers that the truth is far more elusive than he ever imagined.

This is the story of one man’s obsession and its impact on the family he loves. A charismatic, passionate champion of reason and science against unquestioning faith, or a self absorbed, blinkered zealot? There are no easy answers in this wise and compassionate novel, shot through with wry humour and informed by a profound understanding of human nature.


Praise for The Evangelist:

‘Written with delicacy and grace, the portrait of Oldroyd the evangelising scientist is utterly believable, while the slow-burn dissolution of his marriage is heartbreakingly realistic’ – Time Out

‘ The author’s treatment of her themes is as robust as one could wish, but her characters convince as individuals, rather than just as mouthpieces. The result grips one’s interest through out, never descending into mere polemic’ – The Times

‘…this is delivered with such wit and verve in a proper novel of ideas from a seriously talented writer’ – Independent on Sunday