A New York Times Notable Book
In medieval England, a runaway scholar-priest named Nicholas Barber has joined a traveling theater troupe as they make their way toward their liege lord’s castle. In need of money, they decide to perform at a village en route. When their traditional morality plays fail to garner them an audience, they begin to stage the “the play of Thomas Wells”—their own depiction of the real-life drama unfolding within the village around the murder of a young boy. The villagers believe they have already identified the killer, and the troupe believes their play will be a straightforward depiction of justice served. But soon the players soon learn that the details of the crime are elusive, and the lines between performance and reality become blurred as they discover, scene by scene, line by line, what really happened. Thought-provoking and unforgettable, Morality Play is at once a masterful work of historical fiction, a gripping murder mystery, and a literary work of the first order.
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