"An epic family drama"
Estate gardener Francis Foley becomes upset with his
absentee employer. He sets fire to the manor house and
steals a telescope from the estate where he worked. Taking
his four sons ranging in age from twelve to nineteen,
Francis flees across Ireland. However, fortune fails to
shine on the five males as Francis is swept away by the
current of a river they were crossing. His traveling
companions assume their father died.
The four lads continue the journey. After meeting
Blath, Tomas joins the New York Fenian movement. Teige
becomes a Canadian horse ranch owner, but his love for
Elizabeth appears doomed. Finbar marries a Gypsy and soon
becomes head of her band. His twin Finan goes to a
monastery in France before becoming a missionary in Africa.
THE FALL OF LIGHT is an epic nineteenth century family
drama that follows the wanderlust of four siblings across
the globe. Each subplot is cleverly intended to serve as a
lyrical metaphoric symbolism of Ireland. However, though
the design is often brilliant and for the most part
accomplishes the objective, some subplots seem unnecessary
and slow down the adventure. Still fans of sweeping Irish
tales will enjoy Niall Williams' latest novel.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted March 4, 2002