D.P. Costello's spellbinding novel, The Rag Tree, breathes dark, vivid life into Ireland's passionate legends. Crisp and sharp-witted, Costello's tale probes a modern Ireland torn between letting go of time-honored dreams and embracing the promises of a prosperous New Ireland.
Even as they struggle against one another, the Irish Special Branch, the British Army, Scotland Yard, and the I.R.A. find themselves forced to ally against a common foe: The Rag Man. Mattie Joe Treacy is the Rag Man. Engrossed in a desperate quest to find his missing father, Mattie Joe is cursed-by the playboy's life of drink and carousing, by his family's staunch adherence to Ireland's old folk ways, and by a family curse hurled at his clan generations ago. The Curse of the O'Neills, invoked by an angry cleric against Mattie Joe's great-grandfather, declares that, "the eldest son will not survive the father." No Treacy son has since outlived his father, and Mattie Joe is next in line to die.
DANNY COSTELLO is a second generation Irish-American with roots in Counties Galway and Kerry. He has visited Ireland forty times since 1978. Educated by the Jesuits in Washington, D.C., he has been part of the capital city's vibrant Irish music scene for going on thirty years. The Rag Tree is his first novel.