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"One of the greatest pleasures of TransAtlantic is how provisional it makes history feel, how intimate, and intensely real. . . . Here is the uncanny thing McCann finds again and again about the miraculous: that it is inseparable from the everyday."--The Boston Globe "Ingenious . . . The intricate connections McCann] has crafted between the stories of his women and our men seem] written in air, in water, and--given that his subject is the confluence of Irish and American history--in blood."--Esquire "Another sweeping, beautifully constructed tapestry of life . . . Reading McCann is a rare joy."--The Seattle Times "Entrancing . . . McCann folds his epic meticulously into this relatively slim volume like an accordion; each pleat holds music--elation and sorrow."--The Denver Post From the Hardcover edition.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-09-30
- Reviewer: Staff
McCann’s novel centers around three historical crossings from America to Ireland. Between 1845 and 1846, Frederick Douglass tours Ireland and England to promote the abolitionist movement, his autobiography, and to negotiate his freedom so he can safely return to America. In 1919, aviators Jack Alcock and Arthur Brown attempt the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic. And in 1998, Senator George Mitchell leaves for Belfast to negotiate a peace agreement. These three journeys are anchored by four generations of fictional women—from the Irish housemaid interacting with Douglass to Hannah Carson, whose doomed son grows up amid the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Narrator Geraldine Hughes delivers a masterful performance in which she subtly—but effectively—differentiates character voices. Hughes’s narration is most riveting and authentic in the book’s final section, about a woman who has lost her son to violence. A Random House hardcover. (June)