3.62 (396 ratings by Goodreads)
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Inspector Martin Aitken's life is a mess. Divorced, his career's in chaos, and the last thing he needs this Christmas Even is a strange woman collapsed on a Dublin street. Ellen Donnelly is a woman on a mission, coming to Ireland to find her mother and escape her unfaithful husband. Dr Milton Amery is a New York plastic surgeon. All three of their roads lead to more

Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 34mm | 299.37g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 009928653X
  • 9780099286530
  • 414,181

Review Text

Like Thomas Hardy's Return of the Native or Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Inishowen is one of those massive, memorable novels in which the location is as important as the characters. The remote Irish peninsula has long been the setting for myth and mystery; early Celtic Christian churches mingle with the arcane - standing stones, megalithic burial grounds and ancient pagan monuments such as the Druidic Temple of the Sun, some 4000 years old. Joseph O'Connor's vibrant and gripping storytelling can only add to its cachet. In this setting O'Connor creates three lives: Ellen was abandoned as a baby and is searching for her real mother; Milton, a worn-out American plastic surgeon is seeking meaning in his life; and finally, the cynical and disenchanted Inspector Martin Aitken, looking for answers when a mysterious woman collapses in a Dublin street. The narrative gradually reveals emotions no-one knew were there and connections no-one suspected. The lives of each of the characters are transfigured by their visit, but it's the place - Inishowen itself - that you'll remember the most acutely. (Kirkus UK)show more

Review quote

"A powerful, moving adventure of raw fate and betrayed love" Independent on Sunday "This is a tremendous book, affecting, intelligent, ironic, humane and utterly convincing. It is also extremely funny" Spectator "Inishowen is a vast page-turner, full of compassion, laughter and zest for the human condition, as well as a rattling good story" Irish Times "O'Connor is an enviably talented writer... A very fine novelist" Glasgow Herald "Ireland's most versatile writer... His storytelling is masterful, and his characters are real and vibrant... A sombre, often heartbreaking story... O'Connor conducts his bittersweet symphony with humour, sensitivity and immense style" Independent on Sundayshow more

About Joseph O'Connor

Joseph O'Connor was born in Dublin. His novels include Cowboys and Indians (Whitbread Prize shortlist), Star of the Sea (Irish Post Award for Fiction, France's Prix Millepages, Prix Madeleine Zepter for European Novel of the Year), Redemption Falls, and Ghost Light (Dublin One City One Book Novel, 2011). In 2012 he won the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature. His work has been published in thirty-five languages. more

Rating details

396 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 16% (62)
4 43% (170)
3 31% (122)
2 9% (36)
1 2% (6)
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