Soaked by a miserable rain, Father Declan de Lowry swats midges and unsuccessfully casts for salmon while mulling the deathbed confession of a parishioner from the tiny Irish village of Roonatellin. The good priest is frantic to know why Kevin Dennehy refused to the end to marry Enda, who lived as his wife for decades with none suspecting their sin. When pressed, Kevin would only say, "there's some explanations that get you nowhere." That leaves it to Enda, an Irish Scheherazade, to breathlessly tell Father "the all of it," a wild, eyebrow-raising tale that meanders like sheep on the narrow roads. Her enthusiasm and Jeannette Haien's musical, evocative phrasing sweep this winning, humorous novel along.
From Library Journal
Within this brief, artfully woven novel are two stories. Kevin and Enda have escaped from their mad father and found refuge in a tiny Irish village, where they live as man and wife. Fifty years later, Kevin's death impels Enda to confess to Father Declan, a world-weary priest who finds his escape in salmon fishing. The moral commitment of the couple, and their devotion to freedom and the natural life, remain in the priest's mind as he struggles through the intricacies of netting a salmon. Haien, an American pianist, entirely captures both the essence of life in the rural west of Ireland and the many shadings of the conflict between official morality and the private compromises we must make to live out our lives. A compact, lyrical gem; one wishes it were longer. Highly recommended. Shelley Cox, Special Collections, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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