Synopses & Reviews
It is Ireland in the early 1990s. Helen, her mother, Lily, and her grandmother, Dora have come together to tend to Helen's brother, Declan, who is dying of AIDS. With Declan's two friends, the six of them are forced to plumb the shoals of their own histories and to come to terms with each other.
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, The Blackwater Lightship is a deeply resonant story about three generations of an estranged family reuniting to mourn an untimely death. In spare, luminous prose, Colm Tóibín explores the nature of love and the complex emotions inside a family at war with itself. Hailed as "a genuine work of art" (Chicago Tribune), this is a novel about the capacity of stories to heal the deepest wounds.
"An exceptionally fine piece of writing....It's a measure of Tóibín’s craft that he can sustain his honest, steady gaze on the enigma of life." Globe and Mail
"This is the most astonishing piece of writing, lyrical in its emotion and spare in its construction....Tóibín has crafted an unmissable read." Sunday Herald (U.K.)
"A genuine work of art." Chicago Tribune
The Blackwater Lightship is set in the early 1990s in an old house in Ireland. Helen and her family have gathered there to care for her brother, who is dying of AIDS. A portrayal of a family at war with itself, whose storytelling and truth revealing may be able to heal all their wounds.
About the Author
Colm Tóibín was born in Ireland in 1955. He is the author of six novels, including The Blackwater Lightship; The Master, winner of a Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and Brooklyn, winner of a Costa Book Award. Twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Tóibín lives in Dublin and New York. His play The Testament of Mary, starring Fiona Shaw, directed by Deborah Warner, and produced by Scott Rudin, opens on Broadway April 29, 2013.