Ghost Light: Book summary and reviews of Ghost Light by Joseph O'Connor

Ghost Light

A Novel

by Joseph O'Connor

Ghost Light by Joseph O'Connor
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2011
    256 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

In 1907 Edwardian Dublin is a city of whispers and rumors. At the Abbey Theatre W. B. Yeats is working with talented John Synge, his resident playwright. It is here that the author of Playboy of the Western World and Juno and the Paycock will meet an actress still in her teens named Molly Allgood. Rebellious, irreverent, beautiful, flirtatious, Molly is a girl of the inner-city tenements, dreaming of stardom in America. Witty and watchful, she has dozens of admirers, but it is the damaged older playwright who is her secret passion despite the barriers of age, class, education, and religion.

In 1950s postwar London, an old woman walks across the city in the wake of a hurricane. As she wanders past bomb sites and through the forlorn beauty of wrecked terraces and wintry parks, her mind drifts in and out of the present while she remembers her life's great love, her once-dazzling career, and her travels in America. Vivid and beautifully written, Molly's swirling, fractured narrative moves from Dublin to London via New York in language of luminous beauty and raw feeling that celebrates love and art. Ghost Light is a story of great sadness and joy.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A tumultuous and tender account of a tortured romance, though some of O'Connor's stylistic choices ... impede narrative momentum and yield a reading experience that feels heavy and too hazy." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. An empathetic act of literary homage offering nuggets of emotional intensity." - Kirkus

"Although plenty of poetic license is taken in rendering this rumored love story, the emotional impact of the narrative rings true." - Booklist

"Starred Review. Forbidden love, humor, and O'Connor's attention to the sentence highly recommend this." - Library Journal

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Joseph O'Connor is the author of seven novels, including the international bestseller Star of the Sea, a New York Times Notable Book, and Redemption Falls. He lives in Dublin.

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