Could you imagine having the skill to craft a sentence like that? And what a beginning to a novel. From those first few words, I was completely and utterly drawn in.
I'd been wondering for a few days about compiling a list of my 'books of the year.' More in the spirit of postponing writing the Christmas cards than because I think that anybody else cares ...
But I certainly wasn't expecting to discover my out-and-out best read of 2011 now in the last couple of weeks of the year.
I've only just finished On Canaan's Side and I'm still reeling from the breathtaking quality of Sebastian Barry's writing. And sad because, if my mum were still here, and she'd have been 89 this year, I'd surely be buying this for her Christmas present. She'd have read it more slowly - and it should be read slowly, but I couldn't help myself and now I'm feeling bereft that it's finished.