The Book of the Gaels
by James Yorkston
- Published: 28 September 2022
- Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Rural West Cork, Ireland. Two Kids, Joseph and Paul, and their struggling, poet father, Fraser, are battling grief and poverty. When a letter arrives with a summons to Dublin and the promise of publication, it offers a chink of light - the hope of rescue.
But Dublin is a long, wet and hungry way from West Cork in the mid-70s, especially when they have no money - just the clothes they stand up in and an old, battered suitcase. So begins an almost anti-roadtrip of flipsides and contradictions - dreams and nightmares, promises and disappointments, generosity and meanness, unconditional love and shocking neglect. In simple, beautiful, lyrical prose, James Yorkston's new novel takes us on that trip, as seen through the eyes of a brave and resourceful but poor and frightened child.
It tells of the emptying, paralysing pain of grief and loss, tempered only by the hope of rescue and the redemption of parental love. It also tells of Fraser's love for his children's dead mother, as hidden within the battered suitcase is Fraser's heart-breaking collection of poems - The Book of the Gaels.