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The Heather Blazing (birthday edition)…
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The Heather Blazing (birthday edition) (Picador Thirty) (original 1992; edition 2002)

by Colm Tóibín (Author)

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7371923,397 (3.73)93
Colm Tóibín's second "lovely, understated" novel that "proceeds with stately grace" (The Washington Post Book World) about an uncompromising judge whose principles, when brought home to his own family, are tragic. Eamon Redmond is a judge in Ireland's high court, a completely legal creature who is just beginning to discover how painfully unconnected he is from other human beings. With effortless fluency, Colm Tóibín reconstructs the history of Eamon's relationships--with his father, his first "girl," his wife, and the children who barely know him--and he writes about Eamon's affection for the Irish coast with such painterly skill that the land itself becomes a character. The result is a novel of stunning power, "seductive and absorbing" (USA Today).… (more)
Member:ednasilrak
Title:The Heather Blazing (birthday edition) (Picador Thirty)
Authors:Colm Tóibín (Author)
Info:Picador (2002), Edition: Main Market, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:1001btrbyd

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The Heather Blazing by Colm Tóibín (1992)

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» See also 93 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
A quietly beautiful novel about family, intimacy and the passing of time, the slow rhythms of a life, the simple but moving stories. Little happens, but a picture builds up with Toibin skilfully using narratives from two periods of Eamon Redmond’s life as youth near Wexford and High Court judge in Dublin, including the significant silences. It then looks like it might all be washed away, but there is still life and life goes on. ( )
  CarltonC | Aug 19, 2021 |
an Irish judge loses his wife and reflects on his boyhood
  ritaer | May 5, 2021 |
An elderly judge Eamon Redmond lives with his wife Carmel and travels to the fair city of Dublin everyday to fulfill his high court role. A quiet, thoughtful, deeply intellectual man Eamon often reflects on his life in the present and moments of his childhood that helped shape and create the person he is today. His childhood was a time of order, daily chores, and routine but always under the auspices of the only binding force in the community; the catholic church. A church that demanded allegiance and in return for such devotion and faith man could be saved from the evils of the world, but "without God’s help, we will all die in our sinful condition and remain separated from God forever". The truth of the situation was that the church offered few answers for a young man exploring his sexuality, trying to make sense of the often painful passage from boyhood to manhood. However politics and the allegiance to a particular party played a much more prominent role in the life of the citizens with its constant reminder of past struggles and romantic leaders most prominent of which was Eamon de Valera and the famous Easter rising of 1916 against British rule. As Eamon Redmond becomes immersed in the politics of the age he meets and falls in love with a young party worker Carmel who is equally smitten by her admirer's oratory skills and his ambitions within the political arena.

The story is told in two parts a reflection, often romantic, view of childhood with its warmth and sadness at the passing of close relatives, and in contrast adulthood, responsibilities and complex decisions that constitutes the daily routine of a high court judge. To me The Heather Blazing celebrates the importance of family and how the youthful formative years impress and influence our decisions and mindset into adulthood. Colm Toibin is a great observe of daily routines and the Ireland he describes reminds me, as an Irishman, of my own childhood with simple family routines embedded forever in my mind....."They all settled around the fire, the women with glasses of sherry, the men with beer, the three boys with glasses of lemonade. Eamon watched as his father tipped his glass to the side and poured the beer in slowly, letting it slide softly down the edge of the glass"....The harsh beautiful untamed Irish landscape with wild unpredictable seas somehow compliments the simplistic yet deeply moving narrative of one of Ireland's finest authors. ( )
  runner56 | Aug 12, 2018 |
I understand why the main character was fairly emotionless and somewhat arrogant.
I felt the story ended well, but it took an awfully long time getting there. He spent an enormous amount of time walking. ( )
  bcrowl399 | Jul 8, 2018 |
Very simple and understated writing of a powerful story. I identify with Eamon, as I prefer solitude like him, even when we are with our closest ones. My father has a stroke too, and I sometimes feel ashamed when I am with him. Heather Blazing reminds me that I need to listen to the people around me, so I won't end up like Eamon, unable to recall what his wife said to him. ( )
  siok | Aug 12, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Colm Tóibínprimary authorall editionscalculated
Versluys, MarijkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Brendan, Nuala, Bairbre and Niall
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Eamon Redmond stood at the window looking down at the river which was deep brown after days of rain.
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Colm Tóibín's second "lovely, understated" novel that "proceeds with stately grace" (The Washington Post Book World) about an uncompromising judge whose principles, when brought home to his own family, are tragic. Eamon Redmond is a judge in Ireland's high court, a completely legal creature who is just beginning to discover how painfully unconnected he is from other human beings. With effortless fluency, Colm Tóibín reconstructs the history of Eamon's relationships--with his father, his first "girl," his wife, and the children who barely know him--and he writes about Eamon's affection for the Irish coast with such painterly skill that the land itself becomes a character. The result is a novel of stunning power, "seductive and absorbing" (USA Today).

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