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The Blackwater Lightship par Colm Tóibín
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The Blackwater Lightship (original 1999; édition 2001)

par Colm Tóibín (Auteur)

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1,3054211,155 (3.68)98
It is Ireland in the early 1990s. Three women, Dora Devereux, her daughter Lily and her grand-daughter Helen, have arrived, after years of strife, at an uneasy peace with each other. They know that in the years ahead it will be necessary for them to keep their distance. Now, however, Declan, Helen's adored brother, is dying and the three of them come together in the grandmother's crumbling old house with two of Declan's friends. All six of them, from different generations and with different beliefs, are forced to listen to, and come to terms with each other.The Blackwater Lightship is a novel about morals and manners, about culture clashes and clashes of personalities, but it is also a novel full of stories, as the characters give an account of themselves, and the others listen, awe struck or deeply amused at things they have never heard before.… (plus d'informations)
Membre:sharvani
Titre:The Blackwater Lightship
Auteurs:Colm Tóibín (Auteur)
Info:Scribner (2001), 288 pages
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Mots-clés:own

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Le bateau-phare de Blackwater par Colm Tóibín (1999)

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» Voir aussi les 98 mentions

Affichage de 1-5 de 42 (suivant | tout afficher)
I know this was shortlisted for a Booker, but I did not love it. To me the writing was sparse and cold. Dialogue made leaps and characters went on unexplained emotional roller coasters. I felt that too much was left unsaid by the narrator, so I didn't connect with any of the characters -- they were all puzzling and their motivations weren't clear. It's mostly about Helen and her relationship with her mother and grandmother -- strained because she refused to follow their agendas for her youth and because she felt abandoned by her mother when her father died. The mother oscillates between trying to love her children and being a self-centred entrepreneur. The grandmother is both open-minded and old-fashioned paradoxically. The two men that help these women with Declan are also puzzling in their devotion and self-assuredness. Declan is just a baby who wants his mother. For a character who is in the centre of the attention, he has almost no voice.
The book ends with the implication of reconciliation, but it's hard to tell if this is actually a good thing or not. Does the mother deserve it? Did she deserve her daughter's isolating behaviour? We all make choices based on what we think is needed at the time, but we cannot know the long term ramifications on others. Are we to be held accountable for that? Maybe that's what this book is asking. ( )
  LDVoorberg | Nov 22, 2020 |
Never heard of this author before, and this is the first book of his that I have read.

It is set in Ireland, and is centred around three estranged generations of the same family that are thrust back together as the son is close to death with AIDS. They decamp to the grandmothers house close to the sea with two of his friends, where they try to care for hims as his approaches the end of his life.

Helen, the main character, has had a terrible relationship with her mother after she felt completely abandoned when her father was also dying. Together in the house the relationship is very strained and they test each other. they are coming to terms with a son and brother dying, bring back all the terrible memories for Helen.

Declan, the brother, suffers terribly with the ravages of the illness, and his friends seem to be the only level heads as the family try to re-adjust the boundaries of their relationships.

The writing in this book is effortless, especially given the subject. Helen is a strong character, the others less so. I felt that Declan was almost a side show to the main plot of the mother & daughter relationship. I liked the ending, as you are left with a mix of hope for Helen and Lily and and despair for Declan, and he has not tied the ends together to neaten it up, and leaves you wondering.

( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
What a beautifully told story! I looked this one up after a recommendation by Sarah Winman in her novel Tin Man and I'm so glad I did. For me, there are two threads to the tale, both equally devastating - a young man succumbing to AIDS, and the strong women in his close family reuniting over the tragedy. The scenes with Declan are very powerful, and I love that he has two of his friends there to balance the tension between his sister, mother and grandmother, yet the dialogue between Helen and her mother Lily, and Lily and her mother Dora, are what really resonated with me. I know these women! If I were Irish, this could almost be a biography! When Lily tells Helen that she wishes her daughter were different, or more like Lily herself, was like a punch in the gut. But then Lily isn't a complete monster either, when she starts to open up. I think this book is better therapy than buying self-help books about toxic mothers!

Personal feelings aside, the atmosphere of the damp house by the crumbling cliff in Wexford is also perfect for the story, and I loved the imagery of the lighthouse and the 'Blackwater Lightship' as told by Lily. Probably not recommended for readers who need a plot to follow or action to keep them going, but I would definitely encourage anyone who reads for characters and the beauty of a story well told to dedicate an afternoon to this short but bittersweet study of a family in turmoil. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Jun 29, 2019 |
After decades of defiant opposition, three generations of women come together in support of a son for his final days before dying of AIDS. Tóibín seems to intend a message that is more than the story conveys on the surface but with a subtlety that makes it difficult to pinpoint. However, this is a quiet, elegant story of family relationships, beautifully written. ( )
  VivienneR | Jun 23, 2019 |
Tóibín is a true master and this book is part of the proof. The beauty and suppleness of the prose serves both to mediate and enhance the emotional tone. It is unbearable and delightful. Worth it for anyone who has a family. Or is mortal. Or would like to know about familial relationships Ireland. ( )
  Eoin | Jun 3, 2019 |
Affichage de 1-5 de 42 (suivant | tout afficher)
Set in Ireland during the early 1990s, Declan is dying of AIDS. With the help of two gay companions, he leaves the hospital to spend a few days at the seaside home of his grandmother. There, at the crumbling place of his youth, his sister Helen, his mother Lily, and his grandmother Dora gather after a decade of estrangement. The three women had no idea Declan was gay, let alone terminally ill with AIDS. Once they recover from the shock, their primary goal becomes caring for Declan, who had always been the binding force in this dysfunctional family.

Like six castaways on a desert island, from different generations and with clashing beliefs and lifestyles, they are forced to face their own dark histories in order to deal with each other to achieve the common goal of keeping Declan alive and comfortable.

The Blackwater Lightship is predominately a story of three generations of iron-willed women from a divided family who reunite to help each other face a tragic situation. It is beautifully told in luminous prose, and with all the tenderness and insight that readers have come to expect from this superlative storyteller. Toibin takes the reader deep into the hearts of a family at war with itself in order to explore the nature of love. It is an emotional study of people grappling with the love and resentments that bind them, and ultimately it is a story of hope, showing love (or perhaps tragedy) has the capacity to heal the deepest wounds.

This is a tragic and moving journey, not for the faint of heart. It is, however, a destination well worth the effort. It moves slowly for the first half of the book, and then builds in intensity until I couldn’t put it down. It is not simply a wonderful story; it is a literary achievement.
 

» Ajouter d'autres auteur(e)s (4 possibles)

Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Colm Tóibínauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionscalculé
Roth, StephanieIllustrateurauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Bandini, DitteÜbersetzerauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Bandini, GiovanniÜbersetzerauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
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It is Ireland in the early 1990s. Three women, Dora Devereux, her daughter Lily and her grand-daughter Helen, have arrived, after years of strife, at an uneasy peace with each other. They know that in the years ahead it will be necessary for them to keep their distance. Now, however, Declan, Helen's adored brother, is dying and the three of them come together in the grandmother's crumbling old house with two of Declan's friends. All six of them, from different generations and with different beliefs, are forced to listen to, and come to terms with each other.The Blackwater Lightship is a novel about morals and manners, about culture clashes and clashes of personalities, but it is also a novel full of stories, as the characters give an account of themselves, and the others listen, awe struck or deeply amused at things they have never heard before.

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