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On Canaan’s Side: A Novel | [Sebastian Barry]

On Canaan’s Side: A Novel

From the two-time Man Booker short-listed author of The Secret Scripture comes a magnificent new novel that is the story of the twentieth century in America. Told in the first person, as a narrative of Lilly Bere’s life over seventeen days, On Canaan’s Side opens as Lilly mourns the loss of her grandson, Bill.
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Publisher's Summary

From the two-time Man Booker short-listed author of The Secret Scripture comes a magnificent new novel that is the story of the twentieth century in America.

Told in the first person, as a narrative of Lilly Bere’s life over seventeen days, On Canaan’s Side opens as Lilly mourns the loss of her grandson, Bill. Lilly revisits her past, going back to the moment she was forced to flee Ireland at the end of the First World War, and continues her tale in America, a world filled with both hope and danger.

At once epic and intimate, Lilly’s story unfolds as she tries to make sense of the sorrows and troubles of her life and of the people whose lives she has touched. Spanning nearly seven decades, from the Great Depression to World War II and the Vietnam War, it is the heartbreaking story of a woman whose capability to love is enormous and whose compassion, even for those who have wronged her, is astonishing.

Sebastian Barry’s plays have been produced in London, Dublin, Sydney, and New York. His novel A Long, Long Way was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, as was The Secret Scripture, which was also a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist and winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award and the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction, as well as the Irish Novel of the Year. Barry lives in Wicklow, Ireland, with his wife and three children.

©2011 Sebastian Barry (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“On Canaan’s Side is written with vast sympathy and tenderness. Sebastian Barry’s handling of voice and cadence is masterly. His fictional universe is filled with life, quiet truth, and exquisite intimacy; it is also fully alert to the power and irony of history. In evoking Lilly Bere, he has created a most memorable character.”—(Colm Tóibín, author of the Costa Novel Award–winning Brooklyn)

What Members Say

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    02-20-12
    02-20-12 Member Since 2012
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    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I thought it was kind of drawn out, maybe too long for the content of the story.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Irish History


    What does Wanda McCaddon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A very personal view


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Probably


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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