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The Hill Road

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  110 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Born and raised on a dairy farm in rural County Limerick, Ireland, Patrick O?Keeffe has penned an accomplished debut with "The Hill Road," unveiling the precarious balance of family intimacies played out in the timeless and cloistered world of the Irish farm country. O?Keeffe's four linked novellas span time and generations, and each brims with gorgeous, thoughtful prose a ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 21st 2005 by Viking Adult (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dilli Ghalley
Apr 14, 2016 Dilli Ghalley rated it it was amazing
This is a great book with the awesome story!! i love it so far!!
Kelly Ferguson
Jun 14, 2013 Kelly Ferguson rated it it was amazing
I hate when reviewers write descriptions such as "remarkable achievement" and "handsome, subtle narratives" and "dark beauty" because all I think then is about how I'm about to take my medicine with this award winner. I'd rather say the The Hill Road entertained me with great stories with characters who feel like real people, and who I have genuinely missed since finishing the book. I'd do anything to share a jar of Paddy's whiskey with Aunt Mary on the porch as she spills the family secrets. Th ...more
Jun 12, 2007 Sharon rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: booksalreadyread
Beautiful, poetic language. I especially liked Her Black Mantilla and The Postman's Cottage. This man can write!
Aug 08, 2009 Doris rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes good writing, interesting stories.
Recommended to Doris by: heard the author reading at Colgate Writers' Conference June 200
What a wonderful book. This is a short story collection set in rural Ireland after World War 1. All the stories are sent in the same vicinity, near or around the Hill Road. Normally when I read a short story collection, I read one or two of the stories, then put it aside for later reading. But I couldn't with this collection; I had to keep reading, and I was sad when I ran out of them. It took a while before I realized that within each story there was a mystery, and slowly, slowly, the author pe ...more
Peter Fuller
Oct 13, 2014 Peter Fuller rated it really liked it
I'm not much at writing book reviews, but I'd like to say a few words about this collection of four stories.

Growing up, my grandmother, and the rest of my mom's side, lived in a very small community in far northern Wisconsin, in and around the town of Washburn.

Reading these stories drew me back to the houses and farms and people of that area, where everyone knew everyone else's children, even us, the grandkids, the summer visitors. Everyone knew someone in the wars. Everyone went to church and e
Apr 24, 2015 Jenny rated it it was amazing
These four stories, really novellas, are wonderful. Set in the rural Ireland of the author's childhood, each has at its core a mystery that is revealed gradually. Sometimes in first-person, sometimes in third, these stories are told in short, fragmented scenes that cut across time and place and often move between points of view. The effect is something like a masculine Alice Munro story, stories that convey the repercussions of traumatic events in the past, often for several generations of chara ...more
Mar 18, 2007 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: favorites
Since I wrote the description of the book when I added it, I will let that speak for me:

This book is a considerable literary achievement and must be admired for both its formidable textuality and the richness of its stories. The book, a series of four linked novellas, is a journey through several periods in Irish history. O'Keeffe, a writer of astounding magnitude, is able to make Ireland and her people come alive with sympathetic vigor and admirable candor. It is difficult to write a book that
Apr 25, 2008 Karen rated it liked it
Continuing my post trip Irish literary journey, the setting for these novellas is rural Ireland. Apparently they are no happier in the countryside than in the city (The Gathering). Again --diaspora, dark secrets, grudges, and hurt feelings. As the dust jacket says "Love and devotion, secrets, unfulfilled dreams, and missed opportunities mark these characters". That being said, it is a good read and I will send my copy to my travel buddy (you know who you are).
May 23, 2007 Anne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: humans with hearts that beat
These stories (or "linked novellas") are beautiful and heartbreaking, and the dialogue offers a delicious crash-course in Irish slang. When this book won the prestigious Story Prize, I heard people comparing it to DUBLINERS; before reading it myself, I was dubious of such ardent praise (who wouldn't be?), but after, I was won over. The only thing better than reading it yourself is hearing Patrick read from it.
Feb 23, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it
This collection of four novellas won the 2005 Story Prize (US annual award for best story collection). The writing is beautiful, the subject - life in an impoverished Irish village - bleak. O'Keefe, born on a dairy farm in County Limerick, emigrated to the United States in the mid 80's. After reading The Hill Road it's easy to see why.
Feb 14, 2010 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well done, quite a promising debut. Parts of the novellas brought to mind the elements and techniques of "Dubliners". Could there be any higher praise for an Irish author? The writing in many places is quite beautiful. I really enjoyed this book and will keep an eye out for others by this author.
May 06, 2011 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four short stories make up the story of a large group of Irish people through years of time in the same area of the lush green countryside. I liked this book a lot - drama, mystery and just good reading.
Craig Brantley
Jul 24, 2008 Craig Brantley rated it really liked it
I totally forgot about this book until I came across a review of it. As soon as I saw the cover I remembered how much I enjoyed it. Very well written.
Mar 10, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing
Beautiful! writing is indeed musical. Stories full of humanity and poignant; loved each one. would read again---a rare behavior for me.
Sep 05, 2009 Geoffrey rated it it was ok
Another good writer depicting the hard scrabble Irish village life - is the field a bit exhausted? Hard to make it fresh?
Kit rated it really liked it
Mar 07, 2014
Jordan Bailey
Jordan Bailey rated it really liked it
Jun 04, 2008
Carrie rated it really liked it
Mar 13, 2012
Gabriella rated it really liked it
Mar 20, 2014
Kelly Cook
Kelly Cook rated it liked it
Jan 31, 2013
Dinty rated it it was amazing
Dec 26, 2014
Michelle O'connor
Michelle O'connor rated it liked it
Jan 09, 2013
Gavin rated it it was amazing
May 11, 2007
Kathryn rated it really liked it
Jun 24, 2013
kirk rated it it was amazing
Nov 30, 2007
Jia Loong
Jia Loong rated it it was ok
Feb 09, 2015
Barbara rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2016
Nov 18, 2009 Amanda marked it as to-read
four stories held together by Hill Road; twists and jumps from past to present and back again
Finn rated it liked it
Jan 11, 2012
Cece Fabbro
Cece Fabbro rated it really liked it
Mar 25, 2013
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Patrick O’Keeffe is the author of “The Hill Road”, which won the 2005 Story Prize (which has the largest cash prize for any fiction award in the US - $20,000.00). The book is a collection of 4 novellas set in a fictional Irish dairy farming village. This setting would appear to be one that is especially close to Patrick O’Keeffe’s heart, as he himself was born on an Irish dairy farm in County Lime ...more
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