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Star of the Sea by Joseph O’ Connor
Published by
Secker and Warburg, 2002

In the winter of 1847, from an Ireland torn by disaster and injustice, the Star of the Sea sets sail for New York. On board are hundreds of fleeing refugees, some brimming with optimism, many more desperate. Among them are a maidservant with a devastating secret, bankrupt Lord Merridith and his wife and children, an aspiring novelist, and a maker of revolutionary ballads - all braving the Atlantic in search of a new home. Each is connected more deeply than they can possibly know. But a camouflaged killer is stalking the decks, hungry for the vengeance that will bring absolution.

The twenty-six day journey will see many lives end, others begin afresh. Passionate loves are tenderly recalled, ducked responsibilities regretted too late; profound relationships shockingly unearthed where once it seemed there were none. In a spell binding story of tragedy and mercy, love and healing, the further the ship sails towards the Promised Land, the more her passengers seem moored to a past which will never let them go.

“O’Connor’s most inventive novel; brave, comic, ambitious and still, at its core, uniquely contemporary” Colm McCann

This is Joseph O'Connor's best book. It is shocking, hilarious, beautifully written, and very, very clever' Roddy Doyle

'A triumph...A spectacular breakthrough...it raises the bar for contemporary Irish fiction' Sunday Times

'His most substantial and impressive novel to date. Sad and funny, Star of the Sea tacks and veers in surprising directions, but follows a subtly plotted course to its final satisfying landfall' Irish Times

'There is so much that is memorable in the Star of the Sea - grounded upon well researched, vivid, unprejudiced empathy' Sunday Telegraph
‘A page-turner of a masterpiece. Don't miss it’ Daily Mail

Joseph O’Connor was born and lives in Dublin. His work has been published in eighteen languages. Star of the Sea has been nominated for the 2004 IMPAC award.

By the same author:
Cowboys and Indians
Dog Days: and other stories
The Irish Male at Home and Abroad
The Last of the Irish Male
The Salesman
The Secret World of the Irish Male
Sweet Liberty: Travels in Irish America

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