The Blackwater Lightship
It is Ireland in the early 1990s. Helen, her mother, Lily, and her grandmother, Dora have come together to tend to Helen's brother, Declan, who is dying of AIDS. With Declan's two friends, the six of them are forced to plumb the shoals of their own histories and to come to terms with each other.
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, The Blackwater Lightship is a deeply reson...more
Cormac McCarthy’s writing is probably the more unconventional. He i...more
Helen, a teacher in the Dublin area, helps install her beloved brother Declan into the care of her mother and grandmother in a seashore village in southeastern Ireland. The occasion makes her deal with the nearly decade-long estrangement dating from the time when her father got cancer and her mother effectively took him away from her and her brother during his months of illnes...more
In contrast, the Irish men are loving, playful, nurturing, able to take command, but not bossy. They are also loyal and just plain nice.
Helen, one of the main characters, lives in Dublin, which like any city is bustling. It's inhabitants are cosmopolitan...more
This is the story of a family that has grown apart over the years, and that is reluctantly brought back together again by a single event. Is not a new premise for a novel, but in Colm’s writing a fresh light is shone on it and...more
As a study of mother-daughter relations over generations it seemed over simplistic.
I felt outside of all the characters especially Declin, woh was pivotal to the reunion.
The beginning captured me, then I felt let down. Maybe I am missing something.
Toibin creates a solid plot which feels realistic and well-constructed. Themes of family and friendship play a major role in this novel when Declan, the brother of the main character Helen, becomes sick with AIDS and the struggle brings together three ge...more
It explores the differences between three generations of women in Ireland in the early 1990s. The way in which miss-understandings and unfulfilled parental expectations can lead to alienation...more
(Toibin) The Word somehow remains - the beauty of the Word. Honestly, from the age of 7, at boys'benediction, they would lower the lights of the cathedral and say, "Death comes soon and judgement will follow, so now, dear children, examine your conscience and find out your sins." And you...more
The author has chosen to show how three women o...more
Physically absent, but emotionally omnipresent is the character of the main protagonist’s father, characterised by the Blackwater L...more
It is set in Ireland, and is centred around three estranged generations of the same family that are thrust back together as the son is close to death with AIDS. They decamp to the grandmothers house close to the sea with two of his friends, where they try to care for hims as his approaches the end of his life.
Helen, the main character, has had a terrible relationship with her mother after she felt completely ab...more
This sounds like a serious book, and it is. Matters of life, death, and especially family history, shape...more
It is written with a lightness of touch that is engaging, yet is never intimate. Toibin writes in the slightly removed way his main character Helen see...more
"Colm Toibin was born in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford in 1955. He studied at University College Dublin and lived in Barcelona between 1975 and 1978. Out of his experience in Barcelona be produced two books, the novel ‘The South’ (shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award and winner of the Irish Times/ Aer Lingus First Fiction...more