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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Fans of Matthew Kneale's English Passengers and Sheri Holman's The Dress Lodger will find themselves enthralled with this tale of a sea journey from the Emerald Isle across the Atlantic. Brimming with exquisitely rendered characters and historical detail, this captivating tale of mystery and murder combines the elements of the literary novel, historical epic, and thriller to create a muscular work of fiction with a surprising sense of page-turning urgency. Making a wintry voyage from Ireland to New York in 1847, the Star of the Sea is a ship filled with passengers whose range from humble folk fleeing the ravages of the Irish Potato Famine to bankrupt aristocrats trying to outrun the secrets of their past. Beneath these class differences lies a web of connections marked by betrayal and hatred that spans generations and is about to turn murderous.
Narrated by a fictitious journalist for The New York Times, O'Connor's novel is adroitly studded with interviews and reportage of the 26-day journey. A literary star in Ireland, O'Connor splashes onto our shores with formidable proof of his literary gifts, an epic feast of a novel revealing impeccable language skills and an ear for dialogue, combined with a wonderful attention to detail and subtle nuances. (Summer 2003 Selection)