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Redemption Falls: A Novel Hardcover – October 9, 2007
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"The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, The Lying Game. Pre-order today
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From Publishers Weekly
Irish author O'Connor (Star of the Sea) delivers a highly stylized post–Civil War period pastiche centered on Redemption Falls, a tumultuous frontier town in the Mountain Territory (presumably in present day Utah or Montana). Told through the posters, correspondence, poems/songs, newspaper articles and interview transcripts collected in the early 20th century by a university professor (and nephew of one of the book's prominent characters), the narrative follows acting governor James Con O'Keeffe as he feuds with his ravishing wife, Lucia-Cruz McLelland, about the mute 12-year-old drummer boy Con takes in and wants to adopt. The boy, Jeddo Mooney, is in a bad way and unaware that his tenacious older sister, Eliza Duane Mooney, is hiking from war-ravaged Louisiana to find him. (Her journey is its own mini-epic.) Con's past as an English criminal who barely escaped the noose and his behavior as an American politician demonstrate his noble but flawed character, while a chorus of minor voices add texture to a narrative already rich with a medley of languages, dialects and clashing cultural mores. The novel is complex, ambitious and at times difficult (many characters are uneducated, and their journals and letters prove to be occasionally impenetrable). O'Connor succeeds as a ventriloquist who brings to life a wide cross-section of Americana. (Oct.)
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*Starred Review* In this vibrant literary collage, O'Connor illuminates a slice of the Civil War and Reconstruction. The stories of Eliza Mooney and her younger brother, Jeremiah, are intertwined in this enthralling saga with those of General James O'Keefe and his wealthy wife, Lucia, through letters, personal accounts, transcripts, newspaper articles, and miscellany. As the bloody war ends, Elizaworldly wise beyond her teenage yearssets out on foot from Baton Rouge to find her only remaining kin, a boy who emerges from battle to become the surrogate son of the general, whose failure on the Union battlefield earns him the job of acting governor of an untamed mountain territory. The storiesof O'Keeffe's disreputable past, Lucia's temptation during her husband's absence, Eliza's torturous journey, and the horrors of war witnessed by Jeremiahare vivid and tumultuous, coursing to a bloody climax. Although Irish immigrant participation in the Civil War is a central theme, O'Connor also shows the rich diversity of a country torn by civil conflict. Leber, Michele
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Top customer reviews
This book is something like the HBO series "Deadwood" crossed with "Cold Mountain", and yet more, much more. For one thing, this is the first fictional account I have read of the experiences of the Irish Americans in the Civil War, and that part was just excellent too. O'Connor brings in the sense of a kind of fractured freedom that the American experience can be seen to be, an experience at once exhilarating and devasting, even excruciating. It was a very hard time to be alive;few got any breaks, and God help you if you were a woman -- a sentiment voiced early on by one of the characters, Elizabeth Longstreet. Given how dark this novel is in many ways, it is a testment to the sheer power of his writing that once begun, I was just absolutely taken up by it, felt I was practically living it. I absolutely adored the collage effect of the narritive(s) being overlaid with posters, songs, and poems of the times, which deepened the story immesurably to have the broader sense of the culture at large there in with the voices of the characters. I have resolved to get the audio CD from my library system now, to hear this, as some of it is written as transcriptions of oral recordings anyway.
But I should say, if you are one who likes a linear story, beginning, middle, end, one narrator all the way through you may find yourself challenged by this. Personally I loved the insights the inner musings of the characters gave to my understanding of them and the story at large.