Preview: Mark McLean – The Atheist Who Went To Church

Two years after the release of his debut novel Losing Dominion, Vancouver-based writer Mark McLean revisits themes of journeying, searching (however literal or metaphorical), personal reflection and familial relations in a new work of fiction entitled The Atheist Who Went To Church.

On top of a job at the Vancouver Aquarium, Thomas Forrester balances questions of God, morality and whether or not to sleep with a rebound. For seven days, he tries to avoid imminent soul-searching (which largely involves his relationship with his father who lives in a seniors community building) but performs definitive actions that affect all three.

Like many young adults, Thomas shares many of their struggles around the idea of the self-made individual. Those floundering amidst undeclared life priorities, who may latch onto some activity – a ritual or vice – in an attempt to find some semblance of internal ballast, can at least latch onto Thomas’ story for comfort in the familiar. It may be difficult to absorb the Vancouver McLean presents in The Atheist Who Went To Church sometimes because it hits so close to home, but the finale promises to be well worth the momentary discomforts.

Through two thoughtfully descriptive writing styles that weave together throughout the novel, The Atheist Who Went To Church presents scenes that trace Thomas’ verbal untangling of thoughts on the issues he has ignored in his lifetime.

A launch party for The Atheist Who Went to Church will take place on August 14 from 7 PM to 9 PM at the People’s Co-op Bookstore with a reading taking place at 8 PM. For more information on the launch, visit its Eventful page:

You can pick up The Atheist Who Went To Church locally at the People’s Co-Op Bookstore.

Leslie Ken Chu

Leslie Ken Chu