Ghost Light: A Novel (Google eBook)
1907 Edwardian Dublin, a city of whispers and rumors. At the Abbey Theatre W. B. Yeats is working with the talented John Synge, his resident playwright. It is here that Synge, the author of The Playboy of the Western World and The Tinker’s Wedding, will meet an actress still in her teens named Molly Allgood. Rebellious, irreverent, beautiful, flirtatious, Molly is a girl of the inner-city tenements, dreaming of stardom in America. Witty and watchful, she has dozens of admirers, but it is the damaged older playwright who is her secret passion despite the barriers of age, class, education, and religion.
Synge is a troubled, reticent genius, the son of a once prosperous landowning family, a poet of fiery language and tempestuous passions. Yet his life is hampered by conventions and by the austere and God-fearing mother with whom he lives. Scarred by a childhood of immense loneliness and severity, he has long been ill, but he loves to walk the wild places of Ireland. The affair, sternly opposed by friends and family, is turbulent, sometimes cruel, and often tender.
1950s postwar London, an old woman walks across the city in the wake of a hurricane. As she wanders past bomb sites and through the forlorn beauty of wrecked terraces and wintry parks, her mind drifts in and out of the present as she remembers her life’s great love, her once dazzling career, and her travels in America. Vivid and beautifully written, Molly’s swirling, fractured narrative moves from Dublin to London via New York with luminous language and raw feeling. Ghost Light is a story of great sadness and joy—a tour de force from the widely acclaimed and bestselling author of Star of the Sea.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - janerawoof - LibraryThing
Beautiful evocation of Edwardian Dublin and the love affair between playwright J.M. Synge and Abbey Theatre actress Maire O'Neill. The author uses complicated tense changes [present for Synge's or ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - mhanlon - LibraryThing
I picked this one up because it's Joseph O'Connor, and he can do no wrong, nearly. I wouldn't list this as one of his best books. It never hits the highs of "Inishowen" or "Star of the Sea" or ... Read full review
2 BRICKFIELDS TERRACE
3 KINGSTOWN A PROSPEROUS SUBURB OF DUBLIN 1908
4 RETURNING TO MISS ONEILL IN LONDON ON THE DAY WE FIRST MET HER
5 A REHEARSAL AT THE ABBEY THEATRE DUBLIN
6 A LETTER TO THE TIMES
7 INTERMISSION AT GLENCREE
8 THE THEATRE DISTRICT LONDON
10 APPROACHING BLOOMSBURY
11 ST MATTHEWS CHURCH RUSSELL SQUARE
12 BROADCASTING HOUSE
13 PARK PRUETT MENTAL HOSPITAL HAMPSHIRE ENGLAND November 1952
14 BROMPTON CEMETERY LONDON ENGLAND
Epilogue OLD LETTER FOUND AMONG HER PAPERS UNMAILED
Acknowledgements and Caveat
9 SCENE FROM A HALFIMAGINED STAGE PLAY