The Lonely Sea and Sky
The Lonely Sea and Sky
by Dermot Bolger
Part historical fiction, part extraordinary coming-of-age tale, The Lonely Sea and Sky charts the maiden voyage of fourteen-year-old Jack Roche aboard a tiny Wexford ship, the Kerlogue, on a treacherous wartime journey to Portugal.
Trade Paperback | 384pp | ISBN 9781848405035 | Release Date May 2016
Myles Foley gripped my soaked jumper. ‘Before his ship sank he was a Nazi: now he’s a drowning sailor. Out here, we’re all sailors. Your father and grandfather understood that. Are you going to disgrace their memory?’
Part historical fiction, part extraordinary coming-of-age tale, The Lonely Sea and Sky charts the maiden voyage of fourteen-year-old Jack Roche aboard a tiny Wexford ship, the Kerlogue, on a treacherous wartime journey to Portugal. After his father’s ship is sunk on this same route, Jack must go to sea to support his family – swapping Wexford’s small streets for Lisbon’s vibrant boulevards: where every foreigner seems to be a refugee or a spy, and where he falls under the spell of Kateřina, a Czech girl surviving on her wits. Bolger’s new novel is based on a real-life rescue in 1943, when the Kerlogue’s crew risked their lives to save 168 drowning German sailors – members of the navy that had killed Jack’s father. Forced to choose who to save and who to leave behind, the Kerlogue grows so dangerously overloaded that no one knows if they will survive amid the massive Biscay waves. A brilliant portrayal of those unarmed Irish ships that sailed alone through hazardous waters; of young romance and a boy encountering a world where every experience is intense and dangerous, this is Bolger’s most spellbinding novel, and the work of a master storyteller who is one of Ireland’s best-known novelists, playwrights and poets.
About the Author Dermot Bolger is one of Ireland’s best known writers. His twelve previous novels include The Journey Home, Father’s Music, The Valparaiso Voyage, The Family on Paradise Pier, A Second Life, New Town Soul, The Fall of Ireland and, most recently, Tanglewood. His first play, The Lament for Arthur Cleary, received the Samuel Beckett Award and an Edinburgh Fringe First Award. Also a poet, his ninth collection of poems, The Venice Suite: A Voyage Through Loss, was published in 2012 and his New and Selected Poems, That Which is Suddenly Precious, appeared from New Island in 2015. He devised the best-selling collaborative novels, Finbar’s Hotel and Ladies Night at Finbar’s Hotel, and has edited numerous anthologies, including The Picador Book of Contemporary Irish Fiction. Dermot Bolger also writes for most of Ireland’s leading newspapers, and in 2012 was named Commentator of the Year at the Irish Newspaper awards.
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