The Narrow Land

The Narrow Land

3.87 (295 ratings by Goodreads)

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An Irish Independent and Irish Times Book of the Year, 2019

From the author of Tatty, the Dublin: One City One Book 2020 choice

'It is a long time since I have read such a fine novel or one that I have enjoyed quite so much.' Irish Times

1950: late summer season on Cape Cod. Michael, a ten-year-old boy, is spending the summer with Richie and his glamorous but troubled mother. Left to their own devices, the boys meet a couple living nearby - the artists Jo and Edward Hopper - and an unlikely friendship is forged.

She, volatile, passionate and often irrational, suffers bouts of obsessive sexual jealousy. He, withdrawn and unwell, depressed by his inability to work, becomes besotted by Richie's frail and beautiful Aunt Katherine who has not long to live - an infatuation he shares with young Michael.

A novel of loneliness and regret, the legacy of World War II and the ever-changing concept of the American Dream.

'A brilliant portrait... With a beguiling grace and a deceptive simplicity, Christine Dwyer Hickey reminds us that the past is never far away - rather, it constantly surrounds us, suspends us, haunts us.' Colum McCann
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 23mm | 268g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1786496747
  • 9781786496744
  • 5,945

Review quote

[Christine Dwyer Hickey's] writing shows a deep understanding of human weakness, longing and regret. * Laois Today * A beautifully written novel... that confirms Hickey's status as a major talent. * Mail on Sunday, praise for Last Train to Liguria * Stunning... Extraordinary. * Independent on Sunday, praise for Cold Eye of Heaven * Beautiful and heartbreaking. * Independent on Sunday, praise for Last Train to Liguria * A big, bold, remarkably assured narrative... A powerfully accomplished work of art. * Joseph O'Connor, Guardian, praise for Last Train to Liguria * A wonderful read - thought provoking and compelling - and, to my mind, Christine's best to date. * Irish Examiner, praise for The Lives of Women * [Christine Dwyer-Hickey] is nuanced and exceptional at character and voice. * Sinead Gleeson, Twitter * Hickey's writing is gorgeously lyrical, whether describing the beauty of the Massachusetts landscape or the often painful life of the creative an American version of Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day. It's beguiling and compelling. * Sunday Business Post * The novel is set up like an artwork itself, with broad brushstrokes and fine lines, layer upon layer, scene upon scene...This is no plot-driven page-turner, rather a slow, ethereal thing, where you stop after each paragraph and let the achingly beautiful words resonate. You feel the weight of history but with a lightness of touch. * Irish Independent * Christine Dwyer Hickey's breathtakingly beautiful novel The Narrow Land is about the marriage of Edward Hopper and his wife, Josephine, but builds into a meditation on all marriages and on creativity, in sentences that have the poise and beauty of a great picture. * The Times * Tender * The Times Literary Supplement * Everything about the writing is so carefully balanced - thought and action, feeling and movement, drama and suspense. She leaves space on the page, giving her characters the freedom to behave unexpectedly and to occupy the mind of the reader even when they are offstage. It is a long time since I have read such a fine novel or one that I have enjoyed quite so much. * Irish Times * With a beguiling grace and a deceptive simplicity, Christine Dwyer Hickey reminds us that the past is never far away - rather, it constantly surrounds us, suspends us, haunts us. This is a brilliant portrait of America as we journey with Edward Hopper and his marvellously eccentric wife, Josephine Nivison, through the years shortly after the Second World War. Two young boys, one German, one American, negotiate the ongoing perils of loss, while Hopper's wife poses searing questions, and Hopper himself attempts answers on canvas. The world, as so powerfully evoked by Christine Dwyer Hickey, is bridged by small acts of mercy and hope. * Colum McCann * I loved this book. Christine Dwyer Hickey writes such beautifully poised prose. Flawed lives played out in a postcard perfect setting. * Graham Norton *
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About Christine Dwyer Hickey

Christine Dwyer Hickey is an award-winning novelist and short story writer. Her novel The Cold Eye of Heaven won the Irish Novel of the Year of the Year 2012 and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards. Last Train from Liguria was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards novel of the year 2004. Her bestselling novel Tatty was chosen as one of the 50 Irish Books of the Decade, longlisted for the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year Award, for which her novel The Dancer was also shortlisted. She lives in Dublin.
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Rating details

295 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 33% (98)
4 34% (99)
3 23% (67)
2 8% (24)
1 2% (7)
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