Henry and Cato is the story of two prodigal sons. Henry returns from a self-imposed exile in America to an unforeseen inheritance of wealth and land in England. He is also returning to his mother. His friend Cato is struggling with two ambiguous intermingled passions, one for a God who may or may not exist, the other for a petty criminal who may or may not be capable of salvation. Cato's father and his sister Colette wait anxiously to welcome Cato back to sanity after his dubious escapades. Henry meanwhile confronts his mother, the unappeased furies of childish resentment, and various possibilities of revenge. Henry's cool mother watches, Cato's impetuous sister intervenes. Can love here become a saving force, or is it condemned to be possessive and demonic? Blackmail and violence take a hand, and both Henry and Cato return home at last.
With a bank holiday approaching and no open pubs in sight, Rob Crossan rounds up the finest literary ones to indulge in, instead.
Funny, subversive, fearless and fiercely intelligent, Iris Murdoch was one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. To celebrate the centenary of her birth, here's our guide to help you pick which Murdoch book to read first – or last!