Broken Irish

Edward J. Delaney, Author
Edward J. Delaney. Turtle Point (Consortium, dist.), $18.50 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-933527-50-5
Reviewed on: 08/29/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-933527-51-2
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-283-28778-4
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Delaney sets his new novel (after Warp & Weft) in South Boston, Mass., where a wonderfully realized cast of downtrodden characters struggle to overcome tough predicaments in the final years of the 20th century. After alcoholic copywriter Jimmy Gilbride loses his job, a rich entrepreneur offers him a lucrative ghostwriting opportunity; crestfallen widow Colleen mourns her military husband and struggles to raise her secretive 13-year-old son, Christopher, while offering clandestine help to Jeanmarie, a reckless teenage runaway with a sketchy boyfriend. Meanwhile, Father John is retiring from the priesthood with an overwhelming sense of uselessness and a guilty conscience. Christopher starts spending time with Jeanmarie, which doesn't sit well with her boyfriend. As the boy braces for violence and Colleen appeals to the church, blackouts, memory lapses, and liver problems get in the way of Jimmy's new job. In short, clipped chapters (nearly 100), Delaney gracefully guides his rich tapestry, his characters' serpentine circumstances converging toward conclusions that offer little catharsis. There's nary a blue sky in sight in Delaney's world, but readers will be captivated. The author continues to demonstrate great dexterity and storytelling acumen in his lyrical page-turner. (Oct.)
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