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on May 28, 2012 :
I loved this book because when I read a book one of the elements that is really important to me, in fact central, is that I have to like the characters (good or bad). For me to like them they have to be believable and John O'Neill has created immensely believable characters. He has also spun a great yarn (and surely all good books do that?)that you'd draw nearer to the fireplace to listen to. Amidst the darkness there are glimpses of light and redemption which keep you reading till the last word. Read this book!
Well done John, great read and I wish you everything of the best with it!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on May 09, 2012 :
This is an 'almost perfect little book' as my wife (a hardened and critical reader of fiction) said when she put down the paperback version, and there were tears in her eyes. I thought, my God, I'd better read this! And, though I have more romantic tastes, I too was impressed and moved.
As a sculptor I found the resolution at the end particularly moving. There is something about stone, and cromlechs, ancient sacred stones that can bring us back to what really matters in life. Also the redeeming power of admiration of the Feminine for souls lost in the patriarchal wilderness of the Catholic Church.
Anyone who has in any way struggled between loyalty to a woman, or a friend, or principles, or enthusiasms, and the 'higher'loyalty to a Faith, will resonate with this story. So will anyone with an interest in the real Ireland and Irish.
All this, and it is well-written too - taut, concise and understated, with much subtle humour and irony, and above all a positive take on life even at its grimmest.
Now as an ebook may this story go out to find its deserved readership world-wide - yes, in Ireland too!
(reviewed the day of purchase)