1907 Edwardian Dublin, a city of whispers and rumors. At the Abbey Theatre W. B. Yeats is working with the talented John Synge, his resident playwright. It is here that Synge, the author of The Playboy of the Western World and The Tinkerâ€™s Wedding, will meet an actress still in her teens named Molly Allgood. Rebellious, irreverent, beautiful, flirtatious, Molly is a g
Joseph O’ Connor imagines the relationship between actress Molly Allgood (Playboy of the Western World) and playwright John Synge. It was an affair that broken taboos as he was a protestant in his mid thirties and of higher social class and she a catholic, just turned 18 and from a Dubli ...more
Dublin 1907, a young Irish actress embarks on a doomed affair with John Millington Synge, the Irish playwright. In the 1950s an old, impoverished woman makes her way across London, reminscing about her glory days as an acclaimed actress and her relationship with the enigmatic Synge.
This is a demanding read, more like poetry than prose, requiring the reader to slow down and savour every word, even having to reread sections at times. The second person narration also requires some effort on the re ...more
“Certain biographers will want to beat me with a turf shovel,” O’Connor states in his aftermath. Indeed, in reading that aftermath, this is not the book for those who are seeking a historically-correct look into these ...more
I really enjoyed O'Connor's 'Star of the Sea' and was eager to read 'Ghost Light'. This novel is a fictionalization of the life of Molly Allgood, who was in love with and engaged to John Synge the Irish playwright at the time of his death.
O'Connor introduces us to Molly who is now sixty five years old living in London, the year is 1952. She is alone and lives in a less than desirable part of the city, she drinks gin to ease her mind and sometimes drinks to ...more
Ghost Light revolves around the great Irish playwright (and co-founder, with William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory, of Dubli ...more
The novel is about a grand love affair between Molly Allgood, an actress (stage name Maire O'Neill) and the playwright John Synge, most well-known for his play, Playboy of the Wes ...more
The story is told through the eyes of Synge's fiancée, Molly Allgood, a.k.a. Maire O'Neill. We follow her through a drunken day in London, and every so often she breaks through her alcoholic haze and gives us glimpses into her past. We see her as an up-and ...more
I was not disappointed.
The book is a fiction stor ...more
Ghost Light was a book that squeezed me by the heart several times. I was left restless and facing emotions I did not want to face while reading it, because of the richness of its style, the masterful narration, and the vivid characters. The scenes describing Marie O’Neill as a poor alcoholic who is left to the elements, so to speak, we ...more
I gave up recording quotes I liked..there were too many - som ...more
Not meant to be taken as fact, O'Connor imagines their affair and takes it from their first meeting to Allgood's final day. Irreverent and competitive with her older sister, also an actress, we follow Molly through he ...more
*You listen for his forgiveness as you stand in the street and it comes to you in the stillness of the snow on the railings.
Joseph O’Connor was born in Dublin. He is the author of the novels Cowboys and Indians (short-listed for the Whitbread Prize), Desperadoes , The Salesman , Inishowen , Star of the Sea and Redemption Falls , as well as a number of bestselling works of non-fiction.
He was recently voted ‘Irish Writer of the Decade’ by the readers of Hot Press magazi ...more