Sad and Engaging,
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This review is from: The Salesman (Paperback)
Written in the form of a journal addressed by middle-aged failure Billy Sweeney to his comatose daughter Maeve, The Salesman weaves together a number of narratives. There is a page-turning account of the legal process following the brutal attack which is the cause of Maeve's misfortune; a tender love-story made tragic not by any external event but by the human failings of the lovers involved; and a recounting of the extraordinary events caused by Sweeney deciding to take the law into his own hands.
Through this, O'Connor deals with a number of themes - alcoholism, fatherhood, Ireland's religious issues - but the one which emerges most strongly is to do with forgiveness and revenge: how do we react to those who cause us harm?
I came to this book having been blown away by The Star of the Sea. The Salesman doesn't have the heady intensity of that book, nor it's broad historical sweep. But it's nevertheless a very touching and compelling read from a fine Irish novelist.