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Transatlantic

by Colum McCann

This story of Ireland revolves around famous people - Alcock and Brown, Frederick Douglass, George Mitchell, the Queen - and how they are interlinked by the lives of the Ehrlich women. It is a tale, as the title suggests, of the links between Ireland and North America. It is a tale of the calamity that has been Irish History since the Famine. It is a tale of loss, of emigration, of courage, of mourning, of quiet determination, and of hope.

Extract

Emily woke with the ship's doctor leaning over her. He held a stethoscope to her chest. Took her pulse. He wore a reflecting mirror on his forehead. When he backed away to look at her, she could see the shimmy of her form in the round mirror. She struggled to sit up and speak. There was a quality of gauze to the world.

Parallels

Grace Notes by Bernard Mac Laverty
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
 

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