The Heather Blazing

heather blazing cover image The Heather Blazing

by Colm Toibin
General Fiction
Paperback, 256 pages

Having spent recent time in Spain, we are reminded of the enormous pleasure we take in the work of Colm Toibin. At twenty years of age, immediately after his graduation from University College Dublin, he left for Barcelona where he remained for several years and which he took as his second home. His early work, The South, set in Spain and Ireland, and Homage to Barcelona, a portrait of one of Europe’s greatest cities, were deeply inspired by his love of Catalonia. This second novel, The Heather Blazing, is all Ireland. It relates a year in the life of Eamon Redmond, a judge in the Irish High Court, and probes the history of his intimate family relationships and how they formed him. Alternating between his present and his childhood the man is revealed with emotional intensity and crystalline prose. Deeply moving. Profoundly sad.