Friday, August 03, 2018

From a Low and Quiet Sea

Irish novelist Donal Ryan's latest work is a quietly moving story told in three separate narratives. First we meet Farouk, a physician, who has just immigrated from war-torn Syria to Ireland and become separated from his wife during the dangerous sea crossing. He is morose and finding it difficult to adjust to life in a new and foreign place. The second man we meet, Lampy, is a grouchy young man who seems unlucky in life. He lives with his mother and grandfather, drives a bus for a nursing home, and has suffered a lot of rejection. The last narrator, James, has led a shifty, dishonest life as an accountant, and now appears to be trying to come to terms with his faults and crimes and to seek comfort and forgiveness. Each of the narratives is compelling and thoughtful, but seemingly unconnected. Ryan brings them together with a smash at the end. Highly recommended for those who enjoy literary fiction with complicated characters.

Kelly Currie

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