I just requested a copy of Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor from paperbackswap and I can’t wait to read it. Mr. O’Connor’s most recent best-selling novel, Ghost Light, has been chosen as Dublin, Ireland’s ONE CITY ONE BOOK 2011 winner. Joseph is the brother of controversial singer Sinéad O’Connor.
ONE CITY ONE BOOK is an annual promotion, taking place in April each year, that encourages everyone in a city to read and discuss the same book . The chosen title is supported by a wide range of public events and celebrations, and by attractive banner-style advertising throughout the city. Previous Dublin One City One Book novels have been Flann O’Briens’s At Swim Two Birds, Sebastian Barry’s A Long, Long Way, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Brimming with exquisitely rendered characters and historical detail, this captivating tale of mystery and murder combines the elements of the literary novel, historical epic, and thriller to create a muscular work of fiction with a surprising sense of page-turning urgency. Making a wintry voyage from Ireland to New York in 1847, the Star of the Sea is a ship filled with passengers whose range from humble folk fleeing the ravages of the Irish Potato Famine to bankrupt aristocrats trying to outrun the secrets of their past. Beneath these class differences lies a web of connections marked by betrayal and hatred that spans generations and is about to turn murderous.
Narrated by a fictitious journalist for The New York Times, O'Connor's novel is adroitly studded with interviews and reportage of the 26-day journey. A literary star in Ireland, O'Connor splashes onto our shores with formidable proof of his literary gifts, an epic feast of a novel revealing impeccable language skills and an ear for dialogue, combined with a wonderful attention to detail and subtle nuances.