07 November 2013

Bullet Review: Red Sky in Morning by Paul Lynch

Red Sky in Morning by Paul LynchI'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.
Little, Brown, 2003
ISBN-13: 9780316230254
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


rhapsodyinbooks 11/7/13, 7:52 AM  

Spare language and violence - sounds perfect for Jim!

Beth Hoffman 11/7/13, 10:05 AM  

When I first heard about this book, I was curious. And now you've hooked me!

bermudaonion 11/7/13, 11:04 AM  

I think it takes real talent to write with spare language in a beautiful way. I'll have to look for this book.

Sue Jackson 11/7/13, 7:09 PM  

I hadn't heard of this one yet, but it sounds wonderful. I love when a book affects you and sticks with you like that. When you find yourself still thinking about the characters weeks later...THAT is a good book!

Thanks for the review -


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Shannon @ River City Reading 11/7/13, 8:18 PM  

I fit right into the people you thought would like this book and I LOVED it. So great to see this style novel in a different setting.

Charlie (The Worm Hole) 11/8/13, 11:27 AM  

I'm not sure I would pick it up if just for the plot, but given what you've said about it I would now. The amount of depth sounds intriguing given the bare basics of the story.

(Diane) bookchickdi 11/9/13, 10:16 AM  

How did I miss this one? It sounds amazing, thanks for putting it on my radar.

Daryl 11/11/13, 1:01 PM  

sounds like a good read, thanks!

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