From a low and quiet sea

Donal Ryan, 1977-

Book - 2018

"A new moving novel of three men, each searching for something they have lost, from the award-winning and Man Booker nominated author Donal Ryan. For Farouk, family is all. He has protected his wife and daughter as best he can from the war and hatred that has torn Syria apart. If they stay, they will lose their freedom, will become lesser persons. If they flee, they will lose all they have known of home, for some intangible dream of refuge in some faraway land across the merciless sea. Lamp...y is distracted; he has too much going on in his small town life in Ireland. He has the city girl for a bit of fun, but she's not Chloe, and Chloe took his heart away when she left him. There's the secret his mother will never tell him. His granddad's little sniping jokes are getting on his wick. And on top of all that, he has a bus to drive; those old folks from the home can't wait all day. The game was always the lifeblood coursing through John's veins: manipulating people for his enjoyment, or his enrichment, or his spite. But it was never enough. The ghost of his beloved brother, and the bitter disappointment of his father, have shadowed him all his life. But now that lifeblood is slowing down, and he's not sure if God will listen to his pleas for forgiveness. Three men, searching for some version of home, their lives moving inexorably towards a reckoning that will draw them all together"--

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Subjects
Published
New York, New York : Penguin Books 2018.
Language
English
Physical Description
174 pages ; 20 cm
ISBN
9780143133247
0143133241
Main Author
Donal Ryan, 1977- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Ryan's cunningly structured and deeply compassionate fourth novel, following All We Shall Know (2017), is told from the points of view of three men who initially appear to have nothing in common. Farouk is a physician in Syria who must balance the risk of staying in a country where his family is in increasing danger or taking up the offer of a slippery stranger who offers him transit by boat out of the country. Mopey young Irishman Lampy lives with his mom and grandfather and drives a bus for a nursing home after being dumped by his girlfriend and rejected by the universities where he applied. And elderly James, a shady accountant and lobbyist, makes a final confession as he fears he's approaching death. When Ryan steps back to allow the connections among their stories to emerge in a relatively short final section, the effect is dazzling, like a series of fireworks building with each detonation. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

A Man Booker and Desmond Elliott prize long-listee who's won multiple Irish literary awards, Ryan deserves attention. Here, three unsettled men look for what they've lost: restless Lampy misses the girl who got away, wheeler-dealer John has crumpled under the weight of his father's disapproval and brother's death, and Farouk has fled Syria with his wife and daughter, choosing uncertainty over debasement or death. Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Three men--Farouk, seeking to protect his family from the war in Syria; Lampy, reeling from his lover's desertion in Ireland; and John, tormented by his past--all search for some version of home as a powerful reckoning brings them all together.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"A new moving novel of three men, each searching for something they have lost, from the award-winning and Man Booker nominated author Donal Ryan. For Farouk, family is all. He has protected his wife and daughter as best he can from the war and hatred that has torn Syria apart. If they stay, they will lose their freedom, will become lesser persons. If they flee, they will lose all they have known of home, for some intangible dream of refuge in some faraway land across the merciless sea. Lampy is distracted; he has too much going on in his small town life in Ireland. He has the city girl for a bit of fun, but she's not Chloe, and Chloe took his heart away when she left him. There's the secret his mother will never tell him. His granddad's little sniping jokes are getting on his wick. And on top of all that, he has a bus to drive; those old folks from the home can't wait all day. The game was always the lifeblood coursing through John's veins: manipulating people for his enjoyment, or his enrichment, or his spite. But it was never enough. The ghost of his beloved brother, and the bitter disappointment of his father, have shadowed him all his life. But now that lifeblood is slowing down, and he's not sure if God will listen to his pleas for forgiveness. Three men, searching for some version of home, their lives moving inexorably towards a reckoning that will draw them all together"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Three men from different parts of the world, each searching for something they've lost—including freedom, love and family—eventually intersect. By the author of All We Shall Know and the Guardian First Book Award-winning The Spinning Heart. Original.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA BOOK AWARDLONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZEA moving novel of three men, each searching for something they have lost, from the award-winning and Man Booker nominated author Donal Ryan.For Farouk, family is all. He has protected his wife and daughter as best he can from the war and hatred that has torn Syria apart. If they stay, they will lose their freedom, will become lesser persons. If they flee, they will lose all they have known of home, for some intangible dream of refuge in some faraway land across the merciless sea. Lampy is distracted; he has too much going on in his small town life in Ireland. He has the city girl for a bit of fun, but she's not Chloe, and Chloe took his heart away when she left him. There's the secret his mother will never tell him. His granddad's little sniping jokes are getting on his wick. And on top of all that, he has a bus to drive; those old folks from the home can't wait all day.The game was always the lifeblood coursing through John's veins: manipulating people for his enjoyment, or his enrichment, or his spite. But it was never enough. The ghost of his beloved brother, and the bitter disappointment of his father, have shadowed him all his life. But now that lifeblood is slowing down, and he's not sure if God will listen to his pleas for forgiveness. Three men, searching for some version of home, their lives moving inexorably towards a reckoning that will draw them all together.