I read this book a few months ago and when I finished it I felt I had to read it again to capture some of the powerful descriptions of human feelings, love, fear, confusion, betrayal, disappointment, compradeship, etc., I picked it up again last week and have enjoyed reading every page of it a second time.
In this book Sebastian Barry has dealt with a subject rarely even talked about until recently in Ireland. That is, the dilemna of 1916 when Irishmen were fighting against Britain in Dublin while at the same time Irishmen were fighting in WW1.
This is the human side of that dilemna. As Colm Toibin says on the cover of the book "This is Sebastian Barry's song of innocence and experience composed with poetic grace and eye, both unflinching and tender, for savage detail and moments of pure beauty. It is also an astonishing display of Barry's gift for creating a memorable character, whome he has written, indelibly, back into a history which continues to haunt us".