Book Review - On Canaan's Side, Sebastian Barry

Another beautifully written book by Sebastian Barry, winner of the costa book of the year award. This time Barry takes us on a trip to America to follow the lives of Lilly and Tadg who are forced to flee there from Ireland, after the end of the First World War. They plan to marry and make a new life for themselves in the hope of putting the past behind them.

As with all Barry's book, he is not sentimental but portrays the lives of his characters with harsh raw reality. You empathise with Lilly rather than feel sorry for her. Barry doesn't allow you to weep, albeit be heartbroken, at the difficulties that Lilly has faced, you feel more empowered by her. A deeply moving and heartfelt story with an injection of humour. 

The present tale of the book is Lilly as an 89 year old woman mourning the loss of her grandson, as she reflects on her life and what it has thrown at her.

This book will leave you with a greater sense of awareness and understanding of yourself and others. I love powerful books like this that make you stop and look at the true meaning of life and what is really important. We all need this now and again. 

If you're a frequent reader of my book reviews, you will know that I am a huge fan of Sebastian Barry. His prose is flawless and I always find myself reading certain lines over and over again. I would highlight them and read them again and again but I don't like to mark my books and I like to pass them on to certain people and claim credit for recommending such a great book.

Anyway, read this gorgeous book for yourselves and you will know what I mean.