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Terrence Rafferty…seems, at times, like an Irish "Rebel Without a Cause": it is, like that 1955 James Dean film, the coming-of-age story of young people who seem to veer helplessly between wanting everything to change—now—and wanting everything to stay the same forever. Bolger conveys that painful ambivalence vividly, with his urgent prose and his obsessive, endlessly circling narrative structure and his persistent, dronelike repetition of that single tantalizing word "home"…This is a mournful book, but not a glum one, really: the writer's love of his agonized characters and his unsettled homeland is unmistakable, and redemptive…Wherever the "real" Ireland is or was or will be, there are great chunks of it, with the smell and texture of Irish earth, in Dermot Bolger's rich, conflicted, ferociously vital book. This is a novel full of rage and full of melancholy and full, to overflowing, of home truths.
—The New York Times