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A Thousand Moons

(Days Without End #2)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  205 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Even when you come out of bloodshed and disaster in the end you have got to learn to live.

Narrated by Winona - the young Lakota orphan adopted by soldiers Thomas McNulty and John Cole in Days Without End - A Thousand Moons continues Sebastian Barry's extraordinary fictional exploration of late nineteenth century America.

Living with Thomas and John on the farm they work in
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by Faber & Faber
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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A heartrending and moving historical novel from the talented Sebastian Barry, written with his trademark vibrant, lyrical and sublime prose, set amidst the unsettling and disturbing repercussions of the Civil War in 1870s Tennessee, seen through the distinctive voice and eyes of the traumatised Winona. The reader is returned to the lives and unconventional family of Thomas McNulty and John Cole, living on the farm with Lige Magan, scrabbling to survive in the harshest of environments, growing ...more
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the beautifully told story of Winona Cole or to give her Lakota name - Ojinjintka. Its 1870s Tennessee, torn apart by the destruction of the Civil War and not healing well. Its dangerous, ravaged by night riders led by Zach Petrie, its discontented and full of burgeoning prejudice, not only towards Indians but also to ex-slaves. The infamous words of Colonel John Chivington at Sand Creek still applies, kill and scalp all, big and little; nits make lice. In these brutal times, Winona is a ...more
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 Stars

Sebastian Barry is a master of prose and story and having loved the majority of his novels I was eager to get my hands on A Thousand Moons and the sequel to Days Without End. Unfortunately this was just an ok read for me and didnt wow me like The Secret Scripture or A Long Long Way and perhaps my expectations was too high.

I had previously read Days Without End a few years ago, it still took me quite a while to connect with the characters of John Cole, Thomas McNulty and Winona, a
Mar 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
"I come from the saddest story that ever was on the earth. "

Ojinjintka, now known as Winona Cole, is an orphaned child of the Lakota Indians. She is now being raised in an unconventional home on a farm in West Tennessee. She is being raised by John Cole and Thomas McNulty and two freed slaves, Rosalee and Tennyson. It's a harsh world where Winona and Rosalee and Tennyson are viewed as less than human - they have no rights and live in a world full of racism and prejudice. Winona has experienced
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, 2019-read
Part 2 of Sebastian Barry's award-winning masterpiece Days Without End is told by Winona Cole, the adopted daughter of Thomas McNulty (narrator of part 1) and the love of his life, John Cole. Short recap: Thomas fled the Great Famine in Ireland and fought in the Indian Wars and the American Civil War with fellow soldier John Cole. They adopted orphaned Lakota Winona (although they did not know whether they were partly responsible for the death of her family) and moved to Lige Magan's farm to ...more
Following on from Days Without End, 'A Thousand Moons' is told from Winona's point of view. With the end of the American civil war John Cole and Thomas McNulty have left their fighting (and theatrical) days behind them and settled down in Tennessee on Lige Magan's tobacco farm with Winona, their adopted Lakota Indian daughter. Together with freed slaves Tennyson and Rosalee Bouguereau, this odd assembly have formed a family of sorts and work the farm together. Winona is now grown and educated in ...more
Peter Boyle
Sebastian Barry's previous novel caught me by surprise. I wasn't expecting to like Days Without End so much, but its tale of love and war on the American plains really stirred my emotions. I was more than eager to read the sequel.

A Thousand Moons is narrated by Winona, the Native American girl adopted by John Cole and Thomas McNulty in the earlier story. She lives with the couple and the Bouguereau siblings on the Tennessee farm of Lige Magan, making an unconventional but happy family. Things
Gumble's Yard
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Another story she told was one she called The Fall. A great sickness had come to us, she said, a thousand moons ago. Almost everyone died. They fell down and just hours later were dead. Oh, how we feared that story. A thousand moons ago was her deepest measure of time. It was the same measure as Thomas McNultys a hundred years. . For my mother time was a kind of a hoop or a circle, not a long string. If you walked far enough, she said, you could find the people still living who had lived in
Roman Clodia
Returning to the world of Days Without End, this features Thomas McNulty and John Cole but the voice and story is that of a young Native American woman orphaned in the brutal Indian Wars and adopted in a makeshift family. Again Barry gives us a story of violence tempered by compassion, of prejudice and inequality offset by love and generosity of spirit. The voice isn't always convincing but this is such a humane tale, as (or more?) relevant for our own toxic times as it is an evocation of ...more
Mar 24, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shall I or shan't I? £10.04! I'm sure Barry and his publisher fixed the price some time ago before lockdown and profiteering in the times of the coronavirus. But I don't know. Things are getting expensive and half my family's been laid off.
I mean The Mirror & the Light (Thomas Cromwell Trilogy #3) by Hilary Mantel was £12.49 but it was 900+ pages long and I'd been longing for it for years. And Mantel had been slaving over it for years...
And reading it was days of bliss.
This is less than a third of the length and I'm reassessing whether I really did love Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I was so thrilled to be approved for this book by Netgalley, I completely loved Days Without End and was very excited to read the follow up, especially as it was Winona's story. Winona was saved from certain death by the wonderful Thomas McNulty and John Cole. They have raised her as their own at a time when two men raising a child, especially a native American child, is totally extraordinary. John and Thomas love each other but their love for Winona and their dedication to her is beautiful. ...more
Rob Twinem
Sebastian Barry writes in a certain literary style that you will either warm to or, as in my case, you will find his prose difficult to appreciate. The story is set against the American civil was and concerns a young Lacota Indian girl called Winona Cole who is adopted by William MrNulty and John cole. Through her eyes we are witness to persecution and hatred displayed everyday against a diminishing indigenous Lacota tribe. Whilst the story has merit and the events set against a harsh and ...more
Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I dont think it would be necessary to have read Sebastian Barrys earlier novel Days Without End to enjoy this sequel, but I would have found it frustrating not to have done. Several characters feature in both, particularly Thomas McNulty and John Cole, but to a lesser extent and their background is sketched in here just enough for new readers to understand their context without irritating those already familiar with it.

This novel focuses on Winona, a Lakota girl orphaned young and raised by
Olga Miret
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Faber and Faber and to NetGalley for offering me an ARC copy of this book, which I freely chose to review.
I read Barrys Days Without End, loved it and couldnt resist when I saw his next novel was available. This story follows on from the previous one, and it shares quite a few characteristics with that one. Although Ive read some reviews by people who hadnt read the previous novel and said that they felt this one could be read on its own, I wouldnt dare to comment on that. Personally,
Dec 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: earc, 2019
I received an ARC from NetGalley for review.

This is in some ways a historical crime story, centred around the rape of John and Thomas's adopted daughter, a young Lakota girl re-named Winona. The novel is, for the most part, beautiful and kind, but the subject matter is grim and there are moments that struck a false note for me. The theme of the novel is decency and how regardless of circumstances, some see the world with love, and some with hate, and it is done well, but I still had mixed
Jillian Doherty
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another vibrant example that Sebastian Barry can write anything.

Harrowing and redemptive; Winona shows us how a timeless figure can rise from the ashes. With her unconventional motley crew of an adopted family, she perseveres.
But not in a conscious way, with humility and coming-of-age enlightenment, she finds her way.

A heart wrenching and beautiful story for fans of Where the Crawdad Sing, and Whiskey When Were Dry!

Galley borrowed from the publisher.
Sid Nuncius
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is outstandingly good. I thought Days Without End was brilliant; A Thousand Moons is even better, I think.

Told in the first person by Winona, the Lakota Native American girl we met in Days Without End, it is the story of the immediately post-Civil War events in West Tennessee where they have settled on Lige Magans farm. Barry conjures the atmosphere of the time as pre-war attitudes to race and slavery begin to re-assert themselves and continues to create fine, believable characters and an
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Thousand Moons is a remarkable readone of those books that is its own creature, with characters one might not have imagined before, but who seem completely true and real. The book is set in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. The Narrator, Winona, is an Indian girl, roughly eighteen years old who has been raised by a gay male couple. Life is hard, as you might imagine, for this unusual group, but their love for one another is fierce and courageous.

I don't want to say much about the plot
DNF @20%. The sequel to Sebastian Barry's Days Without End, A Thousand Moons is set in West Tennessee shortly after the American Civil War and narrated by Winona, the Native American girl adopted by Thomas and John during the course of the last novel. The novel begins with Winona being brutally attacked and raped, and she, alongside her various protectors, set out to see who is involved. Barry can absolutely write, but I didn't find Winona's voice nearly as engaging or convincing as Thomas's in ...more
Lauren Olmeda
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a gorgeous follow-up to Days Without End. I love Sebastian Barrys writing - he isnt even American and he nails our southern accent in writing so well. ...more
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Firstly - It is not necessary to read Days Without End prior to reading A Thousand Moons. Yes, a familiarity with Days Without End will elevate the experience of reading A Thousand Moons because you will already be familiar with these characters and have knowledge of their shared past (which is oft-referenced throughout A Thousand Moons).

A Thousand Moons is a very different story from Days Without End. Here, Barry does not address war but instead focuses on its aftermath - specifically with
Mar 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In A Thousand Moons, Sebastian Barry continues the saga of Thomas McNulty, John Cole, and Winona Cole, who collectively constitute one of the most unlikely family units in literature. Set in the 1870s about a decade after the events described in the authors magnificent Days Without End, this book is told from point of view of Winona, a girl from the Lakota tribe who John and Thomas, themselves an unlikely married couple, adopted after her relatives were killed in a military raid. The main story ...more
Rod MacLeod
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. Following on from Days without end Winona Coles story is enthralling. Beautiful writing, simply a great tale ...more
Sarah Bannan
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an extraordinary novel by one of Ireland's finest novelists.

A follow up to the magnificent Days Without End, A Thousand Moons gives us the beautiful and resonant voice of Winona, a native American who has suffered immensely. With Sebastian Barry's unique power of empathy and imagination, the reader enters Winona's world and mind fully; he gives her a voice which is at once authentic and lyrical.

I began highlighting sentences that I thought were particularly beautiful and then realised
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, lit-fic
[review of ARC won as Goodreads giveaway]

"Even when you come out of bloodshed and disaster in the end you have got to learn to live."

Sebastian Barry's Days Without End was one of my top reads when it came out a couple years ago. . .the beauty of the writing, the uniqueness of the voice and the way the narrative embraces the simple, all-encompassing love between John Cole and Thomas McNulty. So I was delighted to find out there would be a sequel but also a little nervous. Because while Days was
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was embarrassingly far into this book when it finally dawned on me why everyone sounded fsmiliar... so up to that point it was a good stand alone book.
Definitely all the better when I realised.
I enjoyed the continuing story,and I hope there's more to come.
The star of the show for me was Peg.

Once again Barry gives these misfit characters,all of whom the law would have something against, a home and a family.
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sebastian Barrys A Thousand Moons follows on from his stunning Days Without End and, as both titles suggest, he continues to suggest that there is no end either to mankinds capacity for love or for hate. Set in Tennessee during the turbulent 1870s, Barry reminds us of the importance of family not in the blood sense here - and in the strength in belonging. At Lige Magans farm, the family is certainly unusual, comprising the gay ex-military couple Thomas McNulty and John Cole, their adopted ...more
Elaine Aldred
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Thousand Moons is the sequel to Days Without End, which really should be read first, not just for completeness but to revel in its fierce, breathtaking prose.

A Thousand Moons follows the fortunes of Winona, the Lakota girl orphaned as a result of Thomas McNulty and John Coles actions while soldiers. The narrative of the book is related by her. All of them are leading a settled life on a farm the men are working on, with Winona now well educated and beginning to make her way in the world. Until
Annette Jordan
A strong successor to the sublime Days Without End , A Thousand Moons takes up from where that book finishes, on the farm in Tennessee where Winona, a young Lakota Indian is living with her somewhat unusual adoptive family, Thomas McNulty and John Cole on the Magan farm with it's owner Liege, and two freed slaves. While it is not essential to have read Days Without End to enjoy this book , it will certainly add an extra layer to the enjoyment, and it is in itself a wonderful book.
This book
My thanks to Faber & Faber for an eARC via NetGalley of A Thousand Moons by Sebastian Barry in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks are due also to The Pigeonhole for hosting a group read earlier this month where I was able to share thoughts and comments with other members as we read the daily chapters.

This is a sequel to his award winning Days Without End and is told from the perspective of Winona, the orphaned Lakota girl adopted by former soldiers Thomas McNulty and John Cole in that
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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

Barry's literary career began in poetry before he began writing plays and novels. In recent years his fiction writing has surpassed his work in the theatre in terms of success, having once been considered a playwright who wrote occasional

Other books in the series

Days Without End (2 books)
  • Days Without End

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