- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Black Swan (20 April 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1784160253
- ISBN-13: 978-1784160258
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 76 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
All We Shall Know Paperback – 20 Apr 2017
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"Donal Ryan, the king of the new wave of Irish writers, turned in a democratic work of genius this year. I was entranced by it. Buckled by it." (Sebastian Barry Guardian Books of the Year)
"Impressed and moved me in equal measure. It’s a stunning piece of work, utterly truthful and emotionally powerful, and the portrayal of the narrator’s elderly father is so affecting that it sometimes had me in tears." (Joseph O’Connor Irish Independent Books of the Year)
"An extraordinary portrait of adultery, loneliness and betrayal . . . One of the finest writers working in Ireland today . . . worthy of Greek drama . . . . . . in the great tradition of tragic fiction, his lonely adulteress coming to grief in the same shadowy spaces as Emma Bovary or Anna Karenina." (John Burnside Guardian)
"So beautifully written and so full of compassion and humanity that I wanted to set fire to my laptop and never write again." (Liz Nugent Irish Independent Books of the Year)
"Donal Ryan's new book is an enthrallingly impassioned and compassionate read, ferocious but humane. All We Shall Know acknowledges the acts of vicious self-destruction the human heart is capable of, but does not accept the irreparability of such acts. To his raw, wounded and grieving characters Donal Ryan says: If you are still breathing, you can be redeemed." (Colin Barrett)
About the Author
Donal Ryan is from Nenagh in County Tipperary. His first three novels, The Spinning Heart, The Thing About December and All We Shall Know, and his short story collection A Slanting of the Sun, have all been published to major acclaim. The Spinning Heart won the Guardian First Book Award, the EU Prize for Literature (Ireland), and Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards; it was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize, and was recently voted 'Irish Book of the Decade'. His fourth novel, From a Low and Quiet Sea, will be published in March 2018. A former civil servant, Donal lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Limerick. He lives with his wife Anne Marie and their two children just outside Limerick City.
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Story-telling is of a very good quality, and all the characters come superbly to life within this astounding human tale.
Human feelings and actions come very much to the forefront in this genuinely moving little story.
The story is based in and around Limerick, Ireland, and the main character of this book is Melody Shee, who's a thirty-three old woman, and she's pregnant by 17-year old Martin Toppy, who's a son of a famous Traveller, while being unhappily married to Pat.
Another important characters are Mary Crothery, who's also a Traveller and who'll become her long lost friend and confidante, as a kind of substitute after the death of her former close friend Breedie Flynn, and there's of course Melody's aged widowed father.
Melody doesn't know what to do with her life and her pregnancy, and while being ignored, judged and threatened by family and many people in society, she's starting to blame herself for her predicament hoping that her life will soon turn into something better.
Only when Melody meets Mary Crothery, a young Traveller woman, it is she who will be the great help Melody needs in her life by showing that Melody's life is worthwhile, and that wonderful help will turn into a very dear friendship between the two of them, and especially at the end of this truly breath-taking redemptive humane story there will be a surprising emotional turn of events concerning Melody's baby boy.
Really recommended, for this is a really moving story about a woman in trouble with her pregnancy, and she being blamed and shunned by all sides, especially her family, and it is finally someone, a stranger, with honest motives who will help her in coming to terms with her life, and that's why I like to call this book: "A Humane Heartfelt Story"!
One of Ireland's greatest writers of our time, DR stands up with the masters.
Such a depth of character in this, multi-dimensional, entirely believable and very human; even while condemning Melody I could empathise with her contradictions. And so beautifully, lucidly told.
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I found the writing excellent, descriptive and the author did a fine job of writing the female voice.Read more