IT is a while since I read Joseph O’Connor’s masterly narration of the Irish migration post famine distilled into the tale of a single boat’s crossing. It was as I recall the first book to be introduced on Richard and Judy’s TV book club. And the first of an epic trilogy.
Tony Eagleton in the Guardian talked of the Dickensian space and the richness of the prose overlaid on to the harrowing poverty of the subject matter, the different voices of different classes interwoven in a brooding, touching saga. Pre the road story came the boat story.
Eagleton says: ” There are several novellas tucked inside this well-upholstered text, along with cameos of the East End, snapshots of Victorian Belfast and vignettes of the Irish land-owning aristocracy.”