Qty:1
  • List Price: $17.00
  • Save: $5.11 (30%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 8 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Away: A Novel has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very Good used copy: Some light wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins. Text is clean and legible. Possible clean ex-library copy with their stickers and or stamps.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Away: A Novel Paperback – July 1, 1995


See all 21 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.89
$1.98 $0.01

The Casual Vacancy
The Casual Vacancy
A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults. HBO will release the television version, already familiar to British viewers, beginning April 29.
$11.89 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Away: A Novel + The Blind Assassin: A Novel
Price for both: $23.10

Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Like a heartbreakingly romantic ballad of hard times, unrequited love, and lamentation, Urquhart's third novel (following Changing Heaven, LJ 3/15/93) is an entrancing saga of a family who must leave Ireland for Canada during the potato famine of the 1840s. As a young girl in Ireland, Mary is taken "away" to the faeries after a young sailor (a faerie-daemon) whom she rescued dies in her arms. Although she does eventually marry, have a family, and start a new life in the Canadian wilderness, Mary still hears the call of her sailor and finally leaves her family to live the rest of her life alone by a lake. Her daughter Eileen, in turn, falls in love with an Irish nationalist whose passion is only for his cause; she spends the rest of her life "away" in thoughts of him. Urquhart beguiles the reader with a cast of lovable eccentric characters in a wonderfully surreal world that includes a talking crow and a man who can charm skunks "away." An extraordinary achievement; highly recommended.
Patricia Ross, Westerville P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The Irish who migrated to Canada fleeing the potato famine had an impact and history well worth noting. Urquhart begins with the story of Mary, a maiden who becomes enamored, perhaps possessed by the spirit of a sailor who dies in her arms on the beach of her Irish homeland. Mary and her earthbound husband, Brian, migrate during the famine at the urging and expense of their landlord. It is this same landlord who appears in the New World to give their son, Liam, and his sister, Eileen, a new start after their father's death. Mary's fey heritage is passed on to her daughter and great-granddaughter Esther O'Malley Robertson, raised in Canada on the shores of Lake Ontario. Urquhart's blending of the spiritual and political sides of the Irish makes an amazing story told in a language that is melodious and laden with complex imagery. At the same time, her characters are unique people filled with the laughter and brooding legacy quintessential to the Irish. Denise Perry Donavin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (July 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140249265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140249262
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #522,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

This is a beautiful book, combining solid research with a very compelling use of language.
E. West
Interesting book for the most part, but it is hard for me to relate with the continuously poor and unexplainable decisions the members of this family make.
Laura Deibel
The story is very compelling, about an Irish family who immigrate from Ulster during the Great Famine.
Leland Buck

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Leland Buck on June 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
In this acclaimed novel by Canadian writer Jane Urquhart, the story is second to the language used. Urquhart writes with such grace and mastery that one is often compelled to re-read large sections just to absorb her words.
The story is very compelling, about an Irish family who immigrate from Ulster during the Great Famine. But there have been many other books written on this topic, none of which are remotely as enjoyable to read. It is the unique strength of Urquhart's voice that makes this novel so fine.
A novel certainly for any reader interested in Irish and Irish-Canadian heritage, but also very worth reading by any who enjoy good language and style.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 10, 1996
Format: Paperback
Extending backwards and forwards in time a hundred and forty years, Away, a novel by Canadian writer Jane Urquhart, begins with one of the female characters discovering the shoreline near her Irish home has been changed forever. Stones resembling new potatoes have replaced the sandy beach, a grim joke in this impoverished area. Then "thousands of cabbages nudged one another towards shore," followed by many silver teapots and barrels of whiskey, a semi-conscious young man the final offering. Thus begins this amazing tale, weaving together the lives of four generations of women, Ireland and and Canada, past and present, land and sea. Water becomes a character in itself, each of these women drawn to it like lemmings, lives unfolding near a stream that ebbs and flows with the seasons, a Great Lake, and the Atlantic Ocean. For readers who appreciate lyrical writing, a compelling story, and subtly evoked magic realism, this book is for you
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Giordano Bruno on July 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm sure there are lots of readers who will love this novel, and I resolutely recommend it to them, but they'll have to self-identify. There's a little of every genre in it: a novel of "generations", a immigration tale of hardships, a 'poetic' romance with a demon lover, a fervent protest against progress at the cost of cultural identity, a historical rebuke of English brutality in Ireland, and an overarching despair that the triumphs and catastrophes of the pioneers generations will be obliterated along with the ecology of their lives. It's a "potboiler", in short, or what some people call a "sweeping romance". I can aver in good conscience that, as such, it's crafty in its language; that's the rationale of my four-star rating, an attempt to be fair and helpful to readers with different tastes from mine ...

... but I didn't enjoy it much at all. I had to struggle to keep reading. It's too rhapsodic for me. As a gothic romance, it falls way short of the Bronte Sisters. As an immigration saga, it doesn't come close to Willa Cather's "O Pioneers", or Ole Rolvaag's "Giants in the Earth", or the greatest of all frontier novels, the immigrant tetralogy by Vilhelm Moberg. And as a portrayal of real human joys and sorrows out on the empty expanses of Ontario, it doesn't have the potency of even one short story by Alice Munro, Canada's finest fiction writer ever. Actually, the cover picture gives a clearer impression of this novel than anything I can say about it, so I'll bid it adieu.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
After reading "The Underpainter" by the same author I was urged to read "Away". This book completely engulfed me and carried me away to Ireland; to the lonely, wind swept, rocky beaches, the cold, hungry nights, and into the small, mean cottages. Jane Urquhart weaves a tapestry of language that forms vivid images in the mind of every reader . We are transported onto the coffin ships to make the long voyage to Canada, that most unforgiving of lands. Following the lives of Mary and Brian and their children, as seen through the lense of memory, was my daily gift to myself. I mourned their loss when I finished reading the book, but can still bring them to life as I continue to reflect upon this poetic novel.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mary Jacob on December 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
I discovered this beautiful book whilst on holday in Canada, and became entranced with the world of Celtic/Canadian literature.
Jane Urquart's writing transported me into the depths of Irish-Canadian femininity with a powerful sense of tragedy, beauty and imagination. I could not put this book down, and when I finished it I felt as though I had travelled decades and miles beyond the 20th Century world of modern-day London.
Her capacity to relate the magnificence of 2 of the most beautiful places on earth is truly impressive, as is her ability to weave together history and mythology.
I would recommend this book to any other dreamer who can allow themselves to be transported into the other world.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have seldom enjoyed a novel as much as I enjoyed Away by Jane Urquhart. The writer's lyrical prose traverses both literal and metaphysical landscapes with equal skill. A well-crafted plot moves the novel along briskly, intriguing characters come vividly to life, and brief detours into ethereal regions of the spirit seem perfectly natural. Away is a delightful read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Friederike Knabe VINE VOICE on April 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
"The women of this family leaned towards extremes [...] They were plagued by revenants. There was always water involved, exaggerated youth or exaggerated age. Afterwards there was absence..."

Esther O'Malley Robertson, now in her eighties, and by her own admission "the last and most subdued" of these extreme women tells the family's story one last time "to herself and the Great Lake, there being no one to listen." The story, she muses, "will take her wherever it wants to go in the next twelve hours, and that is all that matters." And what a story it is! Like her protagonist, Jane Urquhart "paints a landscape in her mind", so rich in colours and shades, and so full of life - real and imagined, large as the ocean, minuscule as a tide pool - and so intimate in the depiction of its human inhabitants with their deep connection to the land and the waters that sustain them.

Spanning some one hundred and forty years, Urquhart creates a intricate multigenerational portrait of a family, starting out on the island of Rathlin, at the most northern coast of Ireland and leaving with Esther at Loughbreeze Beach on the shores of Lake Ontario. Mary, Esther's great-grandmother, stands tall at the beginning of the story, but, overwhelmed by what she experiences one early morning on the beach, changes into somebody that the locals refer to as being "away" - living in an otherworldly reality. She eventually returns to "normal life" thanks to the dedicated gentle care of Brian, her new husband. Urquhart's subtle and sensitive description of the young couple's evolving relationship, set against the increasingly precarious circumstances of the farming communities around them, pulls the reader right into their reality and creates an intimate empathy that only grows as the story unfolds.
Read more ›
11 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Away: A Novel
This item: Away: A Novel
Price: $11.89
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?