Saturday, January 21, 2012

Last Light Breaking


In his first novel, Last Light Breaking, which begins with the line, "I am old.  I am old.  I sit in my pyjama trousers, cold,"  Patrick Corcoran creates a likeable, quirky, and refreshingly realistic character, Connolly.  Through Connolly, Corcoran boldly expresses thoughts many of us have had but might not say aloud, and experiences we might only share with our closest friends, many of which we may lie about even to ourselves.  It is this novel's daring honesty and its ability to make me feel as though I was listening to real life experiences told to me face to face, that made the book so appealing to me. 

During several passages, I could almost hear the voice of Connolly telling me about his sweet, sorrowful memories and mischievous encounters.  In passages in which the characters sing and recite poetry, such as the poetry of William Butler Yeats, I could clearly imagine the sound of Connolly's singing voice to be deep and slightly raspy. 

Three special women exist during the different periods of Connolly's life, in Bagenalstown, Ireland and in Wales.  The novel explores his relationships with them, which stir up in him feelings of passion, guilt, joy, bliss, and bittersweet nostalgia. 

Besides describing Connolly's significant romantic relationships, especially through flashback,  Last Light Breaking also tackles philosophical and theological questions and presents them in everyday conversations, such as through Connolly's conversation with his young grandson, Sean.

Sean is a character who embodies childlike innocence as well as honesty and curiosity.  Since the book often mentions religious subject-matter and Connolly's Catholic upbringing, I believe that it might have been the author's intention to include a memorable child character to echo Jesus' words, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3 ESV)

If you would like a quirky, comical, and emotion-stirring read and don't mind reading passages that include some descriptive sexual language, you might want to check out Last Light Breaking by Patrick Corcoran.

10 comments:

  1. Sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for the review!

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  2. I'll have to check the library for this one. I enjoyed your reveiw!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the review. I found my copy at the library, too...had never heard of the author before. :)

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  3. Your review is very compelling! I may have to read this one. They don't have it at the library, though. Hmm.
    Is the author Irish? His name sounds it. Irish literature is truly a genre all its own, I'm not sure why.

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    1. Thank you, Melee. I couldn't find much about the author online but in the book it says he was born in Cardiff (which I think is in Wales). His name does sound Irish though and a lot of the book was about the character's childhood memories in Ireland.

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  4. I love the parallel to Jesus that you found there!

    God Bless you.

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    1. Thanks for reading & for your comment :)
      Have a beautiful Sunday.

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  5. Dear Jade

    The opening line reminds me of T.S. Eliot's 'I grow old, I grow old...' I love novels set in the sunset of one's life but am a little wary of sexually descriptive lines, so have mixed feelings about this one.

    Thanks for following my blog.

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  6. I'm intrigued by your description of this book Jade. I feel the inclusion of works with descriptive sexual content in your reviews has its place here. To me it demonstrates an open-mindedness and helps to provide a more well-rounded forum.

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