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Banks of Green Willow [Paperback]

Kevin Myers
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Oct 2002
A powerful, moving novel of love and war Dublin airport, 1972. Gina, nineteen, too young to be wise, but old enough for love, sex and the repercussions of both, is being borne by the currents of history and habit away from the man she loves. Half Irish, half Bosnian, Stefan is being swept by those same currents towards a different destiny. At home in America, Gina opts for safety in marriage to Warren who takes her son, Tom, as his own. But her friendship with the noisy, unpredictable Bracken family soon calls her back to her beloved Ireland. Moving down the decades between the cheerful bedlam of the Bracken family in Ireland, the routine of life in small town Louisiana and the stark horrors of war in Bosnia, BANKS OF GREEN WILLOW is about the inescapable consequences of 20th century history on commonplace lives. It is a funny, sensuous and at times deeply moving celebration of humanity. But above all, BANKS OF GREEN WILLOW is an ode to love.

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/TownHouse; New edition edition (7 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190365016X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903650165
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,425,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

...about Ireland, Bosnia, war, love and shifting concepts of identity. -- Julia Neuberger in THE INDEPENDENT

As fresh as tomorrow’s headlines; Kevin Myers has painted a moving and accurate portrait of our terrible age. -- John Banville

Gina, the heroine, is beautifully drawn, with a sensitivity that few male authors could match... -- SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

Poignant, literary, engrossing, layered. An absorbing story of identity, powerless and the arbitrariness of human destiny. -- IRISH INDEPENDENT

Such interaction of the intimately personal with the vast impersonal is never easy, but Myers achieves it with deft, economical writing... -- Alan Judd in THE INDEPENDENT --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Kevin Myers is a columnist with the IRISH TIMES and the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH. He studied history at University College Dublin and has reported on the war in Northern Ireland, Lebanon and Bosnia. This is his first novel.

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The elderly man lay in the bed, white and trembling. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Powerful. Uncomfortable reading at times. 22 Sep 2010
Format:Paperback
The first few pages in this book were very comical, with an affectionate portrait of eccentric Irish people. Then it took a sharp turn and without any warning we were immersed in quite graphic violent scenes from the war in Bosnia. The contrast was quite hard to deal with, and this was the way the book continued.

The main character is Gina and is the story of how she met, fell in love and lost the love of her life in Dublin when she was a teenager, and the following years in a humdrum marriage in America. I felt sorry for her husband, who played only a small part in the book, and I would have liked to know more about him. A man that from the very start of a relationship takes on board another man's child and brings him up and loves him as though he were his own son is a special person and deserves more than a shadowy presence in a story, I think. Gina didn't seem to try very hard to make her marriage work and it would have been nice to understand why - I might have liked her more.

The book is strong meat; disturbing in parts, with its portrayal of man's inhumanity to man, as well as a story of star-crossed lovers. A good read but overall it left me feeling a bit sad. Plus I don't like ambiguous endings - possibly I'm thick. That could be it.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical 23 Sep 2002
By Vanessa
Format:Paperback
A wonderful read and as honest a book that was ever published, this novel failed to receive the critical attention it ought to have done when it was first published. Everything about this book; language, characterisation, tone and the manner in which the author merges the lyrical and erotic with the mundane makes it a joy to read.
Delicious, and quite simply unmissable.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nearly great novel 13 Nov 2006
By 3Lllama
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Brilliantly written and utterly unputdownable. However, the last few chapters nosedive into a lame, silly and melodramatic cop-out ending which, while it doesn't mean that the book isn't well worth reading, does add up to a disappointment. Sorry Kevin, this one hit the post.
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