I've had the great good fortune to have read some absolutely stunning books this fall, and Paul Lynch's debut novel, Red Sky in Morning, is on that list.
In fact, I loved this novel so much, it was my pick for the Bloggers Recommend newsletter this month:
Written in a spare yet evocative style, Red Sky in Morning exposes the sometimes violent core of the conflict between self-preservation and standing by those you love. Lynch’s debut novel is a powerful addition to the canon of Irish tragedy.I'm forgoing a lengthy review because I don't want to distance myself from this haunting book.
- What's it about: In the early 1800s, Coll Coyle, a tenant farmer in County Donegal, learns he and his family are being evicted from the only home he's ever known. When trying to reason with the landowner, a terrible accident occurs, which causes Coll to flee and puts his family in jeopardy. But John Fuller, the estate's overseer, cannot let things rest, and he tracks Coll across an ocean to seek revenge.
- The two men: Each man believes he has the moral high ground, but when the violence of one meets the stubbornness of the other, nothing good can happen. Coll struggles with the enormity of his choices and the consequences of his strong will to survive. Fuller is single-minded and seems to be free of moral dilemmas.
- The writing: Lynch's language is vivid, evocative, spare, and poetic. The details of the Irish farm, the transatlantic crossing, and life in a Pennsylvania railroad camp bring the action alive. It's difficult to describe how invested I became in this book; Lynch builds the tension perfectly.
- Recommended for: Lovers of literary fiction and beautiful language. It's inevitable that Lynch will be compared to writers like Cormac McCarthy, both in style and plotting. Although Red Sky in Morning is an Irish story, it will have strong appeal to fans of contemporary western authors such as Watson, Haruf, and Proulx.
Source: Review (see review policy)
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