“With unreliable memories and scraps of photographs as his only clues, Conor Lyons follows in the tracks of his father, a rootless photographer, as he moved from war-torn Spain, to the barren plains of Mexico, where he met and married Conor’s mother, to the American West, and finally back to Ireland, where the marriage and the story reach their heartrending climax. As the narratives of Conor’s quest and his parents’ lives twine and untwine, Collum McCann creates a mesmerizing evocation of the gulf between memory and imagination, love and loss, past and present.” ~ From amazon.com
I love this book. My dad gave it to me years ago and I can’t say how many times of I have read it. There are so many things I find intriguing about it. First of all, the language is amazing. I seriously started a list of good words (because I tend to over use words like “really” and “amazing” and have never once used “fulcrum” in anything ever). The writing is super descriptive and transports the reader back and forth across the globe as Conor remembers his parent’s stories and interweaves them with his own. Mr. McCann probably goes a bit overboard sometimes and you may need to download the dictionary.com app, but I think all the lovely words are part of the beauty of this book.
I also love the grittiness of the story. When I read it first as a young (and slightly sheltered) girl, I felt like I was reading something I shouldn’t be. It was a peek into a grown-up world I was just entering. As an adult, I notice the emotions of the characters a lot more and find the story even more captivating because of it. I appreciate the McCann isn’t afraid to take the story to dark places. And somehow, amid all the horrible and tragic bits of life, he manages to show the good things too. Truly beautiful.