One review on 17 Jan 2024

First Published: 2023


Prophet Song

Author: Paul Lynch 

Summary: Civil war in modern Ireland from pov of woman trying to protect her family


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Date first read: Wed 17th Jan 2024

Format:   Hardback

Catalogued: 26th Jan 2024


As Ireland sinks deeper into post neo-Liberal authoritarianism Eilish first looses her husband Larry who is a trade union official as he is 'disappeared' by the state clamping down on 'dissident' opnion. She then is sacked from her state paid job as a minor educational bureacrat. As difficulties mount and social clampdowns get imposed a rebel army is rumoured to be gathering in provinces (she is in Dublin). Elish's father lives on the other side of Dublin and his dementia is starting to get bad and it is difficult to get to him through checkpoints and curfews.

Her eldest son is given conscription papers for his 17th birthday when he was slated to go on to higher education. Elish arranges to hide him at a friends house while her sister in Canada finds a way to smuggle him out of the country. However after several weeks in hiding he disappears - presumed to have gone to join the freedom fighters in the south.

The civil war starts and conditions get worse. We travel with Elish down this nightmare road that so many people have experienced. The writing style enables us to experience it at an emotional level as one consequence piles on another. It ends, as so many refugee stories do, with the sea.


Emotionally Gripping

by rogerco on Wed 17th Jan 2024.

Quite simply stunning work. The narrative style is visceral in its emotional pull.