Sunday, April 21, 2013

book review: Red Sky in Morning by Paul Lynch

The basics: In 1832 in Donegal, Ireland, Coll Coyle wakes with dread. He and his family, including a pregnant wife and young daughter,  are being evicted. An unfortunate series of events put Coyle on the run.

My thoughts: The book opens with a sense of dread, and Coll Coyle is never able to really shake it. Lynch's prose is sparsely lyrical, and it sets the tone of the novel by matching the mood of Coyle and thus novel as a whole. I first tried to start reading this novel on the bus, and it didn't work. When I picked it up again at home with a full Saturday in front of me, I started it over and didn't pause until I'd read the last page.

There's a quiet haunting to this novel that begs the reader to give the novel your undivided intention. There's a magic in its subtlety that demands a close, careful reading. Although Red Sky in Morning is somewhat of a thriller, it's not a novel to be raced through to see how it ends. It's a slowly paced thriller, but the real star of this novel is Lynch's writing. The plot is an intriguing journey, but it's Lynch's writing, and how the writing mimics Coyle's mood, that is this novel's real star.

Favorite passage: "The first days pass and he dreams dark, sickness deepening into him, and he lies between two worlds. They eyes of strangers he sees bunked in the shadows and he know the look of suspicion, knows that a man's sickness is not to be meddled with. He turns throughout the day, days becoming night twisting like a knife and night darkening into some kind of void that puts a hold on time."

The verdict: Red Sky in Morning is a tense, lyrical novel of a chase. Lynch's prose never eases up, just as Coyle is never truly able to relax. The intensity of this novel makes it one to be read in one sitting and without interruptions.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Length: 240 pages
Publication date: April 25, 2013 (UK)/November 5, 2013 (U.S.)
Source: publisher via The Book Depository

Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Red Sky in Morning from the Book Depository.

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1 comment:

  1. Every book I've read about an Irish family always has them getting evicted! Usually because too much drink and not enough work! I'd like to be surprised for once. Seems a bit too stereotypical.


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