Thursday, June 16, 2011

Star of the Sea - Joseph O'Conner

I hate to admit this but I picked this book up three times before I finally gave it a chance, you know the old saying "Never judge a book by it's cover" well I did. 
 I decided  not to read it because on the front it had a ship, therefore it must be a swash buckling adventure and I just didn't fancy it, so I never even  bothered reading the synopsis. I see that they have jigged the front cover and have to say it does look more appealing now.

The Star of the Sea is a coffin ship, ploughing from Britain to America with a freight of evicted Irish who are starving and near deaths door, they get to lodge in the steerage of the ship whilst  several brilliantly portrayed toffs in first class eat and drink till their hearts content. The ship gets lighter by the day, as it sloughs off yet another pile of dead peasants. (They are, so the goodhearted English captain reflects, "as remote from our own race as the Hottentot, Watuti, Mohammedan or Chinese".) A roll call of the ship's main passengers reads like a gallery of Irish stereotypes. There is the brutal landlord, the wronged maidservant, the political balladeer, the aspiring young writer.

A 26 day journey full of surprises, sometimes shocking, hilarious,beautifully written. Loved every page of it all 405 of them and I found I wanted more. Joseph O'Connor's descriptions are so very clever you could almost be in the same room. Highly recommend if your after a great read.

I have just started the Historian  by Elizabeth Kostova a whopping 705 pages so will take me awhile to get through that one unless of course I accidently sprain my ankle whislt hoovering!
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