Catalogue


Away /
Jane Urquhart.
edition
Special ed.
imprint
Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 2006, c1993.
description
356 p. ; 21 cm.
ISBN
0771086539 (bound) :
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 2006, c1993.
isbn
0771086539 (bound) :
catalogue key
5864635
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1994-04-04:
Canadian writer Urquhart's third novel (after Changing Heaven ) is an elegiac, lushly lyrical, enchanting family saga celebrating the Irish spirit and the resilience of Irish immigrants adapting to North America. In Ireland in the 1840s, Mary O'Malley converses with spirits and, according to local superstition, becomes possessed by a demon-lover after holding in her arms a drowned sailor washed ashore on her rocky island off the country's northern coast. Escaping the potato famine, Mary migrates to Ontario with her husband Brian, a schoolteacher who runs into trouble for teaching his students about England's oppression of the Irish. Eileen, the O'Malleys' Canadian-born daughter, falls hopelessly in love with emigre Irish nationalist Aidan Lanighan and becomes an unwitting accomplice to the assassination of a real-life historical figure, Irish-Canadian politician D'Arcy McGee, who is shot to death in the Ottawa Parliament. Framed by the memories of Mary's octogenarian great-granddaughter, Esther, this beautifully nuanced tale is inflected with Irish legend and folklore and is peopled with colorful dreamers, eccentrics, poets, romantics and revolutionaries, such as Thomas J. Doherty, who builds wind machines and charms skunks, and Exodus Crow, an Ojibway Indian who discovers Mary's frozen corpse and later befriends the remaining O'Malleys. (June)
Appeared in Library Journal on 1994-06-01:
Like a heartbreakingly romantic ballad of hard times, unrequited love, and lamentation, Urquhart's third novel (following Changing Heaven, LJ 3/15/93) is an entrancing saga of a family who must leave Ireland for Canada during the potato famine of the 1840s. As a young girl in Ireland, Mary is taken ``away'' to the faeries after a young sailor (a faerie-daemon) whom she rescued dies in her arms. Although she does eventually marry, have a family, and start a new life in the Canadian wilderness, Mary still hears the call of her sailor and finally leaves her family to live the rest of her life alone by a lake. Her daughter Eileen, in turn, falls in love with an Irish nationalist whose passion is only for his cause; she spends the rest of her life ``away'' in thoughts of him. Urquhart beguiles the reader with a cast of lovable eccentric characters in a wonderfully surreal world that includes a talking crow and a man who can charm skunks ``away.'' An extraordinary achievement; highly recommended.-Patricia Ross, Westerville P.L., Ohio
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A dazzling novel...written by a major novelist at the height of her considerable powers." Globe and Mail "One of those novels that moves in and takes over your life....Enjoyable not only for its complexity and subtle characterization, but also for the sheer power of Urquhart's writing....Away is simply a great novel." Books in Canada "Poignant, lilting and emotionally true....Urquhart [creates] her own spell with language that shimmers....." Chicago Tribune "Urquhart writes with clear, sensuous poetry." Times Literary Supplement (U.K.)
"A dazzling novel...written by a major novelist at the height of her considerable powers." Globe and Mail "One of those novels that moves in and takes over your life....Enjoyable not only for its complexity and subtle characterization, but also for the sheer power of Urquhart's writing....Awayis simply a great novel." Books in Canada "Poignant, lilting and emotionally true....Urquhart [creates] her own spell with language that shimmers....." Chicago Tribune "Urquhart writes with clear, sensuous poetry." Times Literary Supplement(U.K.) From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Summaries
Main Description
A stunning, evocative novel set in Ireland and Canada,Awaytraces a family's complex and layered past. The narrative unfolds with shimmering clarity, and takes us from the harsh northern Irish coast in the 1840s to the quarantine stations at Grosse Isle and the barely hospitable land of the Canadian Shield; from the flourishing town of Port Hope to the flooded streets of Montreal; from Ottawa at the time of Confederation to a large-windowed house at the edge of a Great Lake during the present day. Graceful and moving,Awayunites the personal and the political as it explores the most private, often darkest corners of our emotions where the things that root us to ourselves endure. Powerful, intricate, lyrical,Awayis an unforgettable novel.
Main Description
A stunning, evocative novel set in Ireland and Canada,Awaytraces a family's complex and layered past. The narrative unfolds with shimmering clarity, and takes us from the harsh northern Irish coast in the 1840s to the quarantine stations at Grosse Isle and the barely hospitable land of the Canadian Shield; from the flourishing town of Port Hope to the flooded streets of Montreal; from Ottawa at the time of Confederation to a large-windowed house at the edge of a Great Lake during the present day. Graceful and moving,Awayunites the personal and the political as it explores the most private, often darkest corners of our emotions where the things that root us to ourselves endure. Powerful, intricate, lyrical,Awayis an unforgettable novel. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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