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Cover for Star of the Sea

Star of the Sea

Joseph O'Connor


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Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (5/6/2015)
Paperback (3/8/2004)
Paperback (10/1/2006)


In the bitter winter of 1847, from an Ireland torn by famine and injustice, the "Star of the Sea" sets sail for New York. On board are hundreds of refugees, some optimistic, many more are desperate. Among them are a maid with a devastating secret, the bankrupt Lord Merridith and his wife and children, and a killer is stalking the decks, hungry for the vengeance that will bring absolution.
This journey will see many lives end, others begin anew. Passionate loves are tenderly recalled, shirked responsibilities regretted too late, and profound relationships are shockingly discovered. In this spellbinding tale of tragedy and mercy, love and healing, the farther the ship sails toward the Promised Land, the more her passengers seem moored to a past that will never let them go.
As urgently contemporary as it is historical, this gripping and compassionate novel builds with the pace of a thriller to a stunning conclusion.

Praise For Star of the Sea


"Joseph O'Connor has a great eye for the absurd in common things, a great ear for the comic in ordinary speech. His writing is terrific."--Roddy Doyle


"Powerful . . . freewheeling and supple, switching between the comic, the candid, and the profane."--The New York Times Book Review

"Gripping . . . O'Connor's dialogue is by turns bristling and bleak, tender and funny, and his characters are free of stereotypes."--The Wall Street Journal

...O''Connor''s most inventive novel: brave, comic, ambitious and still, at its core, uniquely contemporary.
-Colum McCann

"A brave and artful novel...[T]his is "a good old thumping yarn", the sort of thing a reader can "sink his tusks into." But Star of the Sea is also an agonizing enquiry into the nature of abandonment and the difficulty of finding anyone who will truly care about the fate of others...Few modern writers have exposed with so much passion and skill the protective measures...that we wrap around ourselves."
-James Kincaid

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780151009084, 416pp.

Publication Date: May 1, 2003