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Trite but true, all good things must come to an end. I so wanted to keep reading the wonderful prose, the settings that let one think they are part of the story, and the wonderful characters that this novel contains. McCann has the knack of illuminating the everyday things of a person's life, hidden pride, glowing praise, love for country family and children. Everyday items, inconsequential things assume a meaning that often in apparent only in hindsight. Taking real historical characters and mixing them with characters of his own invention, and making the story realistic takes a very great talent. Covering the pure amount of history in a little more than 250 pgs. fills one with wonder. It is very important to pay attention to the prologue, also the small events that keep reappearing in different places. The first part of the book is not linear, the second part covers some wonderfully strong woman characters, and like a master weaver he threads them throughout history and combines them to make a cohesive and finished piece. It is also a homage to Ireland, their fight and quest for freedom, intermingled with America and slavery. This is a book that contain so many wonderful quotes one could quote indefinitely, but this is one of my favorites and a good way to end this review. "There isn't a story in the world that isn't in part at least, addressed to the past. And so it goes.