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The Next Great Novel of Ireland
on May 14, 2009
A book populated by, among many colorful characters, a homicidal priest, a progressive prime minister with a gun-running past, and a hard-drinking pooka, or faery spirit, must be unique. And D. P. Costello's long-awaited novel, The Rag Tree, is indeed that. It's a novel of Ireland, after all, and filled with all the magic, sorrow, beauty, and contradictions of that great land.
The Rag Tree is set at a time when the nation is preparing to vote on a referendum that will transform Ireland's traditional place in the world, and all the action centers around this pivotal decision by the people. Though the referendum, known as Eire Nua (New Ireland) is poised to pass, powerful forces are arrayed against it. For them, Eire Nua represents a repudiation of the past and of all the heroic struggles for freedom. These shadowy forces will stop at nothing to derail the referendum; manipulation and murder are their weapons.
Costello's deep understanding of the Irish soul gives his novel grace, and his writing is magnificent as he evokes the many shades and nuances of deep-seated sorrow, fierce Celtic pride, lyrical dreams, and God-given humor. The Rag Tree is destined to be the next great novel of Ireland.