Friday 7 April 2023

πŸ“– Book Review ~ Old God's Time by Sebastian Barry


Faber and Faber
2 March 2023

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book

Recently retired policeman Tom Kettle is settling into the quiet of his new home, a lean-to annexed to a Victorian castle overlooking the Irish Sea. For months he has barely seen a soul, catching only glimpses of his eccentric landlord and a nervous young mother who has moved in next door. Occasionally, fond memories return, of his family, his beloved wife June and their two children.

But when two former colleagues turn up at his door with questions about a decades-old case, one which Tom never quite came to terms with, he finds himself pulled into the darkest currents of his past.

πŸ“– My Review..

Newly retired from the Irish police force Tom Kettle lives with a certain truth which he has kept carefully hidden. Alone and isolated in his small apartment annexed on the edge of an Irish castle, Tom looks across at the grey Irish sea and remembers snippets of his life, memories which are as painful to forget as they are to remember.

The story is beautifully written with a starkness to the narrative which belies its strength and although painful to read it is eerily compulsive, especially as Tom Kettle's stream of consciousness brings to the fore everything he has tried so hard to forget. I read it quickly, immersed in Tom's story and its dreadful reminder of  Ireland's painful Catholic past, with the sins of the religious fathers lying heavily on those who were the victims of abuse and shame.

Old God's Time is a haunting and rather melancholic story and Tom Kettle is a character who will stay with me for quite a while.

About the Author

Sebastian Barry is an Irish playwright, novelist and poet. He is noted for his dense literary writing style and is considered one of Ireland's finest writers.

#SebastianBarry #OldGodsTime


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