A lyric lament for Ireland, McGahern's lovingly observed family drama is dominated by an almost pathetic paterfamilias. Gruff, blustering Michael Moran, former guerrilla hero in the Irish War of Independence, is a man ``in permanent opposition.'' Now a farmer, he vents his compulsion to dominate, his cold fury and sense of betrayal on his three teenage daughters. Yearning for approval but fearing his flare-ups, they periodically beat a path back to the farmhouse from London and Dublin, then take flight again, both proud and dependent. Moran's second wife, Rose, much younger than he, displays saintly patience in her attempts to heal this splintering family. Moran also claims a renegade son in London who is ``turning himself into a sort of Englishman,'' and another son driven away by Moran's threats of beatings. McGahern ( The Dark ; The Pornographer ) has crafted a wise and tender novel whose brooding hero seems emblematic of an Ireland that drives away its sons and daughters. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990 Release date: 09/01/1990 Genre: Fiction
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