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John McGahern's mother dies young, of cancer - leaving him in charge of his father, a police sergeant trapped in a rural station where nothing ever happened, during the war years when Ireland was cut off from the outside world. At the heart of the book, rendered in exqusite detail, are McGahern's memories of his mother and of the pleasures and beauties of the landscape in the harsh environment of County Leitrim. There is an unbearably moving portrait of his mother's drawn-out illness, of her approach to death, and of his own grief. If the book is a moving reenactment of filial love, it is also an account of the suffocating relationship between a father and his son. The sergeant was a secretive, brutal and mercurial man. In response, the young John McGahern found his way to books and the life of the mind, and a dream that he could himself write books in which language and feeling mattered as much as the mere form of the tale.
Second hand Hardback