am 6. Mai 2014
Interesting book linking stories from both sides of the Ocean. While the first book seems a series of disconnected stories, the second book reveals that there are indeed four generations of women linking all them together. Well written, with sentences full of meaning, McCann describes a round trip from Ireland to Ireland passing through the USA. Not the easiest book to read, but certainly a good one.
I loved this book and could hardly put it down. This is why:
1. I loved the poetic language from the 1st page on. When in 3rd person narration, McCann writes in a beautifully poetic, very short and staccato like manner that made me sometimes think I am actually reading one poem after another. He leaves the unnecessary unsaid and enough room for my imagination to fill the voids. This is plain beauty. McCann can also switch to a second language, a more bitter language of an elderly woman, as he does in the last chapter that is written in the 1st person, which does have less of that bullet point prone poetry but therefore brings in a surge of personality and different angle.
2. I loved the way McCann weaves the fiction into the non-fiction. He starts the 1st half of the book introducing us to four men who wrote history and had all something to do with crossing the atlantic: the aviation pioneers Alcock and Brown, the abolitionist and social reformer Frederick Douglass and the American politician George Mitchell who played a key role in the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland in 1998. In the second half of the book it is then more about the fictional characters that McCann builds masterfully (see my point 3). But how he brings it all together, the different people and times and how they are all linked and connected, I found impressive.
3. I loved the characters of this book. They stirred up my emotions without being corny. They come very close without any cliche. The four non-fictional characters are very well nuanced, the four fictional women of the second half of the book, each representing their generation, are credible and like taken out of real life. Lily, Emily, Lottie and Hannah, a story of four generations of an Irish family that crosses the ocean to escape tragedy to come back after three generations to eventually encounter it again. Empathically written, and masterfully created in my humble opinion.
I will probably read this again. I cannot believe Amazon gave me this ebook for less than 3 Euros. It is worth every penny times ten.