No Country for Young Men

Julia O'Faolain, Author Carroll & Graf Publishers $19.5 (368p) ISBN 978-0-88184-297-5
Title notwithstanding, this novel by the author of The Obedient Wife is for everybody. Shortlisted for the Booker prize, it combines history and mystery, high romance and barroom intrigue in a tale poised breathtakingly between the Irish Troubles of 1922 and today's bitterly embattled IRA. It centers on Sister Judith Clancy, removed from a convent where she has been forcibly incarcerated, to the home of her niece and nephew Grainne and Michael O'Malley, at precisely the time when an American filmmaker is recording the oral histories of the survivors of the Troubles. Sister Judith is one; painfully, often incoherently, she spills out the terror of those days and her role in it. Meanwhile, the filmmaker, James Duffy, falls in love with Grainne. Michael, faced with Grainne's open adultery, stumbles from pub to pub, the escape hatch that has cost him his career, his inheritance and now his marriage. Other members of the family, however, are dealing more directly with the affair, with a hidden scandal slowly reported by Sister Judith and with the politics of James's presence in Dublin. The people of Ireland here spring to life; their talk, guided by the author's perfect pitch, is ripe with brogue or elegantly English; the book is a triumph of intelligence, insight and surpassing wit. (January 20)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Paperback - 978-0-88184-354-5
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-0-7139-1308-8
Paperback - 370 pages - 978-0-571-25506-1
Open Ebook - 370 pages - 978-0-571-31044-9
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