Parrish Lantern's Reviews > Border Lines

Border Lines by John Walsh
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Jun 22, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: anthology, blog-post, fiction, on-my-shelves, review-copies, short-stories

The tales in Border Lines start at the end of the 1960s and visit several points in the next decade, a period of British history shadowed by the conflict (The Troubles) in Northern Ireland, of which the main issues at stake were the constitutional status of Northern Ireland and the relationship between the two factions. The Protestant unionist and Catholic nationalist communities, both had political and military (or paramilitary) dimensions embedded deep within their respective communities, forming an ever-present facet to the day to day existence of all who lived through this period. Although these troubles are an omnipresence in the shadows of these tales, they occasionally burst out into the light of day & become the tale or part of it, as in the title story Border Lines, which is set in Derry during these troubles and follows a solicitor frustrated with his role as a “messenger boy” between two friends, or in Beautiful Day which is a wonderful snapshot of a perfect day, in this case a first ever fishing trip, that becomes a fragment of memory forever overshadowed by a tragedy, and then there is Hawk, the tale of a ministerial visit to a school to see the new state of the art computer room, and the fantastic new computer program, Hawk, which is a history archive allowing pupils to tap all available archives and cross-reference them for validity. All I will say on this tale, is this is the history of Ireland & if you want to know more click on the Hawk link and read this brilliantly written tale.

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