|A powerful and deeply moving masterpiece about love, partings and reconciliation -- and of the courage involved in living on nobody else''s terms. Dublin, 1907. A young actress begins an affair with a damaged older man, the leading playwright at the theatre where she works. Outspoken and flirtatious, Molly Allgood is a Catholic girl from the slums of Dublin, dreaming of stardom in America. Her lover, John Synge, is a troubled genius, whose life is hampered by convention and by the austere and God-fearing mother with whom he lives. Their affair, sternly opposed by friends and family, is quarrelsome, affectionate and tender. |
Many years later, Molly, now a poverty-stricken old woman, makes her way through London''s bomb-scarred city streets, alone but for a snowdrift of memories. Her once dazzling has faded but her unquenchable passion for life has kept her afloat.
From the Publisher:
1907 Edwardian Dublin. At the Abbey Theatre W. B. Yeats is working with John Synge, his resident playwright. It is here that Synge will meet a teenaged actress named Molly Allgood. Rebellious, beautiful, and irreverent, Molly has many admirers, but it isthe damaged older playwright who is her secret passion. 1950s postwar London. An old woman walks across the city drifting in and out of the present as she remembers her life's great love...In 1907 Edwardian Dublin is a city of whispers and rumors. At the Abbey Theatre W. B. Yeats is working with talented John Synge, his resident playwright. It is here that the author of Playboy of the Western World and Juno and the Paycock will meet an actress still in her teens named Molly Allgood. Rebellious, irreverent, beautiful, flirtatious, Molly is a girl of the inner-city tenements, dreaming of stardom in America. Witty and watchful, she has dozens of admirers, but it is the damaged older playwright who is her secret passion despite the barriers of age, class, education, and religion.
In 1950s postwar London, an old woman walks across the city in the wake of a hurricane. As she wanders past bomb sites and through the forlorn beauty of wrecked terraces and wintry parks, her mind drifts in and out of the present while she remembers her life's great love, her once-dazzling career, and her travels in America. Vivid and beautifully written, Molly's swirling, fractured narrative moves from Dublin to London via New York in language of luminous beauty and raw feeling that celebrates love and art. Ghost Light is a story of great sadness and joy--a tour de force from the widely acclaimed and bestselling author of Star of the Sea.
"[V]ivid and sometimes visionary...." - Christopher Benfey 02/06/2011