Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Blackwater Lightship by Colm Tóbín

Lately, the name of Colm Tóbín has been popping up in reviews and articles about Irish Literature. I did a little looking and I found out that this title was short-listed for the Booker Prize, so I pounced. Very glad I did! Now, all his other titles are on my Amazon wish list.

Tóbín’s sparse style reminds me of Hemingway – virtually no adjectives, but I had no trouble feeling the colors, textures, sights, sounds, and smells of this tale set in contemporary Ireland.

The story is about three generations of women who are drawn together to nurse the brother, son, and grandson suffering from AIDS. The women have their own problems, which each must face and resolve. These women have a history, and Tóbín is as reluctant to admit to the details of the conflict as is Helen, the sister and principle character.

The ending was completely unexpected – not entirely satisfying, but I feel the characters are on the road to repair the damage the years have inflicted on this group of women survivors. I can’t wait to get to the next Tóbín title. Five stars.
--Chiron, 12/26/07

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