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Star of the Sea by Joseph O'Connor
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Star of the Sea (original 2002; edition 2004)

by Joseph O'Connor

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,366None5,600 (3.88)66
Member:arubabookwoman
Title:Star of the Sea
Authors:Joseph O'Connor
Info:Mariner Books (2004), Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library, Read in 2012
Rating:**
Tags:Fiction, Historical Fiction, Bought 2012, Read 2012

Work details

Star of the Sea by Joseph O'Connor (2002)

19th century (28) America (12) crime (7) emigration (21) famine (19) fiction (202) historical (37) historical fiction (84) history (11) immigrants (9) immigration (14) Ireland (106) Irish (38) Irish Famine (9) Irish fiction (17) Irish literature (7) literature (7) murder (12) mystery (18) nautical (7) novel (29) own (7) read (18) sea (13) ships (12) to-read (23) unread (15) USA (7) Victorian (6) voyage (7)

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» See also 66 mentions

English (41)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
Excellent story. Woven together masterfully. Very grim in parts. ( )
  pixelette | Sep 21, 2013 |
recommended for: historical fiction fans, especially patient readers, as this book improves as it progresses

have to say that this is a time when I really appreciate my book club. I ended up enjoying this book, but it was very slow going for a long time. If I hadn’t been reading it for my book club, I believe I would have put it down toward the beginning and never gone back to it, but I am so glad that I felt obligated to read it and therefore finished it.

My favorite part was the fictional description of how Charles Dickens got the information that led to his writing the book Oliver Twist. I was smiling through that whole short section of this book. Still smiling thinking about it.

The writing is poetic & beautiful. Obviously well researched historical fiction. There is a mystery but what’s revealed is not what ended up being most important to me. What fascinated me most were the development of the many interesting characters, and especially the impeccable descriptions of what it must have been like in famine stricken Ireland in the mid 1800s. ( )
1 vote Lisa2013 | Apr 19, 2013 |
unhappy people, murder mystery, interesting backstories ( )
  EhEh | Apr 3, 2013 |
In the mid-1800's, thousands of Irish people fled from hopeless poverty and the devastating effects of the potato famine. This book examines the voyagers on one such ship from the perspective of an American wirter. Passengers on the Star of the Sea range from the very poor to the titled nobility who bore much of history's blame for the horrific effects of the famine. These people, their motives and their obsessions, are examined both in terms of their individual experiences and the interactions they have had with one another. O'Connor has dealt with the subject most even-handedly and with a restraint that makes the facts all the harder to bear. The book is illlustrated with excerpts from contemporaneous writers and news articles, some so blistering in their hatried and ignorance that they are shocking. All this is wrapped around a first class thriller that keeps the reader in suspense throughout the book. Highly recommended. ( )
2 vote turtlesleap | Sep 15, 2012 |
I admit, I had doubts about this, as I'm not a fan of the nautical genre, but it was great. A really soundly constructed historical novel, using enough imagined historical writing to feel authentic, without being annoying. The characters were multi-layered, the plot compelling enough, the historical information interesting. Definitely a good read; I may well be searching out more Joseph O'Connor - now I see why so many people are so positive about his work. ( )
  katelnorth | Jun 30, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
[The Famine] is a punishment from God for an idle, ungrateful and rebellious country; an indolent and un-self-reliant people. The Irish are suffering from an affliction of God's providence.
Charles Trevelyan, Assistant Secretary to Her Majesty's Treasury, 1847
(Knighted, 1848, for overseeing famine relief)
England is truly a great public criminal. England! All England! ... She must be punished; that punishment will, as I believe, come upon her by and through Ireland; and so Ireland will be avenged ... The Atlantic ocean be never so deep as the hell which shall belch down on the oppressors of my race.
John Mitchel, Irish nationalist, 1856
THE MISSING LINK: A creature manifestly between the gorilla and the Negro is to be met with in some of the lowest districts of London and Liverpool by adventurous explorers. It comes from Ireland, whence it has contrived to migrate; it belongs in fact to a tribe of Irish savages: the lowest species of Irish Yahoo. When conversing with its kind it talks a sort of gibberish. It is, moreover, a climbing animal, and may sometimes be seen ascending a ladder laden with a hod of bricks.
Punch magazine, London, 1862
Providence sent the potato blight but England made the Famine ... We are sick of the canting talk of those who tell us that we must not blame the British people for the crimes of their rulers against Ireland. We do blame them.
James Connolly, co-leader of the Easter Rising against British Rule, 1916
Dedication
For Anne-Marie
again and always
First words
All night long he would walk the ship, from bow to stern, from dusk until quarterlight, that sticklike limping man from Connemara with the drooping shoulders and ash-coloured clothes.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Det er vinteren 1847. Havets Stjerne forlader et forarmet og hungersramt Irland og sætter sejl mod New York. På det overfyldte dæk samles flere hundrede flygtninge. Nogle er fulde af optimisme, andre desperate. Men alle er de styret af en længsel efter at begynde på et nyt liv. Om bord på skibet møder vi en sælsom gruppe rejsende, som er langt tættere forbundet, end de selv aner. Og i menneskemylderet går en morder rundt og venter på det rette øjeblik.

I løbet af denne seksogtyvedages rejse vil mange mennesker dø og nye liv begynde i en ubarmhjertig verden, hvor ethvert forsøg på at undslippe skæbnen blot ser ud til at forstærke dens greb. Men forude venter det forjættede land.
Haiku summary
The Star of the Sea
Is where four lives intersect
At the end of one.

(Ludi_Ling)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099469626, Paperback)

Book

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:31 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Winter 1847, and the Star of the Sea sails from Ireland for New York. On board are hundreds of refugees, some optimistic, many desperate, all braving the Atlantic in search of a new home. But among them, a camouflaged killer stalks the decks, hungry for a vengeance that will bring absolution.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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