Silence - Shusaku Endo
I received a copy for free from Bedford/St Martins.

I’m pretty sure I am going to hell. I’ve read plenty of Saints lives, and there is one thing about Christian martyrs that puzzles me. If suicide is wrong, then isn’t martyrdom also wrong. Wait, wait. Hear me out. I know lying is wrong too, don’t get me wrong. But isn’t martyrdom suicide by another means? Two options, and one is death. We have seen variations of this in other places – Spain where Jews were forced to convert and some did – but only outwardly. So, if a small white lie could enable to not only live but to also practice in private than was it bad.

Or at the very least, why would it be so bad. Yes, you have a responsibility to faith but do you not have a responsibility as well to those around you?

Endo’s book deals with Christian persecution in Japan, and confronts another question. Does a priest, should a priest, renounce in order to save his flock. The novel isn’t so much about characters, and the people do not seem as if they are going to step off of the page. Still, the question raised is a worthy one. It is a book that lingers.