1924. In the dangerous first years of the Irish Free State, beautiful Rose Raven, having lost her sight and her first love, is living quietly with her brother. But Ultan is involved in anti-government propaganda. As the net tightens, Rose is the only person who knows where the shameful truth is hidden – a truth so incendiary, it threatens the new Ireland itself.
Peter Cunningham is from Waterford in the south east of Ireland. He is the author of the Monument series, widely acclaimed novels set in a fictional version of his home town. His novel, The Taoiseach was a controversial best seller; The Sea and the Silence won the prestigious Prix de l’Europe.
He is a member of Aosdána, the Irish academy of arts and letters, and lives with his wife, not far from Dublin.His novel, The Taoiseach was a controversial best seller; The Sea and the Silence won the prestigious Prix de l’Europe.He is a member of Aosdána, the Irish academy of arts and letters, and lives with his wife, not far from Dublin.
One of the many things that frustrates me about the UK’s education system is the erasure of the cruel and terrible things the British Empire did. Ireland is our closest neighbour, but I have to rely on stories from my friend’s Granny and brilliantly written books like this to even scratch the surface of its rich and complicated history.
Powerful, moving and haunting, this book is a body blow, especially in the second act as Rose reveals what happened to her and her father, the terrible love story and tragic ending of her sight.
I didn’t like the epilogue as it seemed a little heavy handed but the two sections before it, Rose’s ‘now’ and ‘then’ were intense and absorbing, leaving me reeling.
This book needs to be on your to-be-read piles, its power and characters lingering on long after the last page, for such a slim volume it packs an emotive punch.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.