As an atheist with a catholic background I have always been fascinated by stories involving good and evil. There is still a remnant in my brain base that wants to believe and so good needs to prevail. The beloved is one such story. I was initially put off by the obvious religious belief system that pervaded its pages but as I progressed through the story of Gabe and his adventures, both good and bad, I needed to see it through to its conclusion. It reads a bit like a Grimm’s fairy tale in that good is always warm and fuzzy and evil is toned down to make it palatable. I am a black and white kind of person in my outlook and good is right, evil is wrong. No shades of grey and no excuses. This is why my read of The Beloved is four stars, not five. I wanted the character of Nick to breath fire and brimstone and lots of apocalyptic shaking and rattling. Not doing so might in fact be deliberate to gain a younger reading audience, though my hope is it will morph itself into another book that will see my aspirations for the characters realised. For me then The Beloved was a good read. For others it might be great. It should though not disappoint too many.