Forever: A Novel
2 journalers for this copy...
from the back cover:
This widely acclaimed bestseller is the magical, epic tale of an extraordinary man who arrives in New York in 1740 and remains . . . forever.
The story begins in Ireland, with a young boy living with his parents as Protestants in the 1730s. Young Robert Connor learns that his parents aren't really Protestants; that his mother, Rebecca is Jewish, and his father John (really Fergus) is Irish, and that his own real name is Cormac O'Connor. Cormac witnesses his mother's death under the wheels of a coach, and a few years later, of his father as well, as the result of a gunshot from the same man.
Cormac vows revenge and follows the guilty earl to New York. On board the ship, he passes water and food to the Africans who are being transported as slaves. Later, when Cormac is fatally shot during a joint Irish/African uprising, one of the slaves (who is a shaman) saves Cormac's life by giving him the gift of eternal life (as long as he doesn't leave Manhattan Island).
Cormac lives through years of NYC history: the American Revolution, the Great Fire of 1835, the days of Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall, and the story ends with the tragedy of 9/11.
During the afterword, Hamill tells that he originally finished this story on 9/10/01 and then the world changed, so he had to go back and re-write the last part of the tale. I'm so glad he did. The last section of the book brings all those events back. Although I've been to New York a few times, I was never downtown to the WTC. I visited Ground Zero a few years after the tragedy. Unbelievable that this could actually happen. As they say, if someone invented that and put it in a book no one would have believed it. On 9/11, I was working in Maryland near Camp David and there were rumors that morning that a plane had come down there as well.
This book is a compelling tale, that you simultaeously want to lay aside (to prolong the wonderful story) and keep picking back up (because you want to find out what happens to these characters next). I feel as though if I went to downtown New York I'd be looking for Cormac and all the places he visits. I had to bring up the NYC map on my phone so I could look at the street layout of that area. I feel as though I've just returned from a trip there.
A wonderful book - thank you to Waterfalling for sharing it with me! This is reserved for a planned RABCK in another month or so.