This is the third in the series about the church of England in the 20th century. It is a measure of her achievement that besides telling a fascinating story boldly and well, she illuminates religious and ecclesiastical questions.
" a look at both the sacred and profane aspects of religious life as it is lived on the front lines - the story just behind the front page"
This is the third novel set in the Church of England. She makes the characters come alive.
I've enjoyed all of the books in this series, known as the the Starbridge Series. Susan Howatch is at the very top of my list of favorite authors. My favorite 2 books by Howatch are "The Rich are Different" and "The High Flyer". These 2 books, especially, are not to be missed by anyone who enjoys a great read.
"Ultimate Prizes" was not the best of the books in the series. The hero was really not very likable from the start but his story is vital to understand so it is necessary to read it. And I preferred to read the books in the correct order. My first reading of the books were as they were published! Long ago. But it was fascinating to learn more about the Church of England and to get an incite onto church workings. Personally, I am not a church-goer or a pulpit-thumper, by any stretch of the imagination. But spirituality is something else alltogether than being a "joiner" to a community, which is what I think of when I think of a church congregation.
"Ultimate Prizes" was the book I remember that gave a great deal of detail of the workings of the church, making comparisons to a large corporation very easy to understand. The inner workings of the church/corporation have gossip, scandal, adultery. All kinds of fun and dirt. Definitely worth everyone's time. But start with the first book in the series.