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1865. The American Civil War is ending. Eighteen years after the famine ship Star of the Sea docked at New York, the daughter of two of her passengers sets out from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on a walk across a devastated America. Eliza Duane Mooney is searching for her younger brother she has not seen in four years, one of the hundred thousand children drawn into the war. His fate has been mysterious and will prove extraordinary. It's a walk that will have consequences for many seemingly unconnected survivors: a love-struck cartographer, a haunted Latina poetess, rebel guerrilla Cole McLaurenson, runaway slave Elizabeth Longstreet and the mercurial revolutionary James Con O'Keeffe, who commanded a brigade of Irish immigrants in the Union Army and is now Governor of a western wilderness where nothing is as it seems.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099481522
ISBN-10: 0099481529
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 129mm x 28mm)
Pages: 464
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 1-May-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » Immigrants, vagabonds and rebels cross paths in the bloody wake of the American Civil War. Irish novelist O'Connor crafts an emotional sequel, of sorts, to his much-lauded previous immigrant fable (Star of the Sea, 2003). In picking up the loose threads from Star of the Sea, some 18 years after the ship arrived in America, the author constructs this fascinating, mercurial historical epic. It begins with a girl, Eliza Mooney, the daughter of nanny Mary Duane from the previous book, who walks, barefoot, clothes in tatters, across the emotionally bankrupt South in search of her wayward brother Jeremiah, known to her as Jeddo. Her journey points her toward Redemption Falls, a cruel and nearly lawless settlement in the heart of the Western frontier. Her passage will cost her dearly, but it brings her into the orbit of dozens of other outlandish primary characters including errant cartographer Allen Winterton, an expressive black slave called Elizabeth Longstreet and a rough-and-tumble Irish outlaw named Johnny Thunders. Though all are gripping in their own way, they ultimately fall under the purview and shadow of James Con O'Keeffe, a flamboyant Irish republican, anarchist and skillful raconteur who has sweet-talked and schemed his way into the governorship of his rural kingdom. O'Connor pieces together the scraps of their lives, employing oral histories, translated letters, poems, daguerreotypes and even wanted posters. The transitions between passages can be jarring, but the richness of the overall effect is undeniable.A striking Western epic elevated by a Greek chorus of deviant narrators. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Joseph O'Connor

Joseph O'Connor was born in Dublin. His novels include Cowboys and Indians (Whitbread Prize shortlist), Star of the Sea (Irish Post Award for Fiction, France's Prix Millepages, Prix Madeleine Zepter for European Novel of the Year), Redemption Falls, and Ghost Light (Dublin One City One Book Novel, 2011). In 2012 he won the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature. His work has been published in thirty-five languages. www.josephoconnorauthor.com

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