The Irish Quarter
Star of the Sea by Joseph O'Connor has to be must reading for anyone at all interested the human impact of the famine years in Ireland (1845 to 1850). I have read several excellent histories of these years but none of them really brought the era to life, none brought me this close to what the human experience was like. I have gotten behind in my posting because I was out of internet touch for five days and yesterday our server was down 16 hours so I will keep this post short. (Amazon has lots of well done posts on this book, most singing its well deserved praises to the sky.)
The book is about the passage in 1847 on a ship from Galway bound for New York City. It has wonderful stories about the lives of the people on the boat which help us see why they had to leave Ireland. This book is really beyond my capacity to endorse it. Some of the stories are just amazing in their depth and brilliance. The passage over was very harsh and O'Connor spares us nothing. The prose is beautiful. This is a deeply moving book. I loved it.
I am currently almost done with the authors book about the mistress of John Synge, Ghost Light: A Novel. I am trying to decide which book is more wonderful and so far I have not been able to decide. After completing that I will read his book centered around Irish participation in the American Civil War, Redemption Falls: A Novel.