Farouk’s country has been torn apart by war.
Lampy’s heart has been laid waste by Chloe.
John’s past torments him as he nears his end.
The refugee. The dreamer. The penitent. From war-torn Syria to small-town Ireland, three men, scarred by all they have loved and lost, are searching for some version of home. Each is drawn towards a powerful reckoning, one that will bring them together in the most unexpected of ways.
Many thanks to the author, publisher and blog tour organiser Anne Cater for the ARC in return for an honest review.
I’m a firm believer that some books call out to a readers soul, that the story within the pages, resonates with them in ways they may not be be able to explain, but they understand in an instinctive way. From A Low and Quiet Sea is one of those books for me.
We have a story that brings the lives of three men and their complex narratives to readers using language that flows like poetry from the page. The imagery that Donal Ryan creates with the written word is subtle, but imbued with such emotional depth, that you carry it with you, long after you’ve fished reading the book.
My mind returned to the lives of Farouk, Lampy and John, many times after I turned the final page, because the heart of the book lies within their lives, thoughts and emotions. It spoke to me of loss, pain and grief, yet also quiet triumph in the face of adversity. All three men have a haunting quality to them and I when I looked at the world through their eyes, I could almost feel how and why they searched endlessly, for a home that could shelter them from all they had lost.
The refugee, the dreamer and the penitent are by far some of the most powerful creations I have read about in recent time and I will miss them.
About the author.
Donal Ryan is from Nenagh in County Tipperary. His first two novels, The Spinning Heart and The Thing About December, and his short story collection A Slanting of the Sun, have all been published to major acclaim. The Spinning Heart won the Guardian First Book Award, the EU Prize for Literature (Ireland), and Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards; it was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize. The Thing About December was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year and Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards, and the title story of A Slanting of the Sun won the writing.ie Short Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. His third novel, All We Shall Know, will be published in autumn 2016. Donal holds a Writing Fellowship at the University of Limerick. He lives with his wife Anne Marie and their two children just outside Limerick City.