Picks and Pans Review: Star of the Sea
By Joseph O'Connor
Beginning in 1845 a fungal blight destroyed nearly all of the potato plants in Ireland, leaving most of the population starving. The result was one of the largest mass migrations in history, as the Irish began cramming onto ships bound for America. It is on one such ship that O'Connor (whose sister is singer Sinéad) stages this novel, an ambitious, superb, even uplifting tale of the Irish flight from horror. Characters such as Pius Mulvey, a crippled wretch forced to become an assassin, are drawn with layer upon layer of vivid background. Along the way O'Connor even brings in a thoroughly gripping murder mystery that is all the more affecting for the depth he gives his characters. They add up to a powerfully symbolic microcosm of the time. (Harcourt, $25)
BOTTOM LINE: Shining Star
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: The Time of My Life!
- 45 Pages of Oscar!
- The Pistorius Trial: Why Did He Kill Her?
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine