Saturday, December 17, 2011

Nights Beneath the Nation by Denis Kehoe

This is the moving story of Daniel Ryan, who has returned to Dublin after spending most of his life in New York. He finds the city much changed from his memories of it when he was discovering his identity as a young gay man. Much of the novel is told in flashback, where Daniel recalls his passionate love for Anthony and their involvement in a production of Blood Wedding by Lorca. I had a small part in a college production of Blood Wedding when I was 17 so I found this element of the story fascinating. I really enjoyed the way that the play offered an opening into consideration of the Spanish Civil War (which some characters in the novel had fought in) and how the theme of forbidden love in the play is echoed in Daniel and Anthony's relationship. Being in the play together, where they play enemies, strains their relationship and leads to the tragic climax of the novel. It's a beautifully written novel, if somewhat emotionally overwrought at times, and gives a fascinating insight into the changing city that is Dublin.

Nights Beneath the Nation by Denis Kehoe published by Serpents Tail

I was delighted to win this book as part of the LGBT Reading Challenge

1 comment:

green investments said...

I was just going through various blogspot blogs and saw your post about Ireland. I was there this past July on a week's stay for a business trip. Beautiful city, but what's really striking is how incredibly green and gorgeous the Irish countryside is. Just stunning.