My Father in the Night

Terrence Clarke, Author, Terence Clarke, Author Mercury House $19.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-916515-93-5
As a raw young recruit in the Irish Republican Brotherhood, Michael ``MJ'' Pearse guarded a kidnapped elderly prisoner and fingered the man's son, whom IRB terrorists then murdered. Now, some 45 years later, MJ carries massive guilt from that incident, a guilt that distorts his relationships with his kin in San Francisco of the late 1950s, where most of this rich, engrossing novel is set. Concealing his own political past, MJ openly disapproves of his son Joe, a lawyer who supports the IRA. And angry, impatient, argumentative Joe showers bombastic criticism on his own son, 11-year-old Patrick, who hangs out with black-clad beatniks and resists paternal efforts to mold him into ``a good Catholic.'' Wives play rather shadowy roles in this story, moderating their spouses' obduracy. Still, Clarke ( The Day Nothing Happened ) has fashioned a probing, amazingly vivid portrait of an Irish-American family seething with emotional, political and intergenerational conflict. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
Discover what to read next