cover image O Come Ye Back to Ireland: Our First Year in County Clare

O Come Ye Back to Ireland: Our First Year in County Clare

Niall Williams. Soho Press, $16.95 (233pp) ISBN 978-0-939149-07-0

This New York City couple who met as graduate students in Dublin, gave up the urban lifestyle two years ago to return to the land of their ancestors. Pursuit of their dream took them to the tiny village of Kilmihil on Ireland's bleakly beautiful west coast, where they settled into a farm cottage. Their journal records culture shockat the turf they must learn to cut and burn for heat, for exampleas well as discovery of the wealth of traditional music and their storytelling rural neighbors. In alternating voices, they express dismay and frustration in coping with a lifestyle where time is of little significance. But, by the second year, Breen has a budding artistic career as well as a blooming garden, and Williams certifies as a farmer, as well as a dabbler in local theatrics. Entertaining and instructive, the journal, with Breen's illustrations, captures a way of life foreign to most readers . First serial to Irish America; Reader's Digest Condensed Books selection. (October 8)