Away

Paperback | August 24, 2010

byJane Urquhart

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A stunning, evocative novel set in Ireland and Canada, Away traces a family’s complex and layered past. The narrative unfolds with shimmering clarity, and takes us from the harsh northern Irish coast in the 1840s to the quarantine stations at Grosse Isle and the barely hospitable land of the Canadian Shield; from the flourishing town of Port Hope to the flooded streets of Montreal; from Ottawa at the time of Confederation to a large-windowed house at the edge of a Great Lake during the present day. Graceful and moving, Away unites the personal and the political as it explores the most private, often darkest corners of our emotions where the things that root us to ourselves endure. Powerful, intricate, lyrical, Away is an unforgettable novel.

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From the Publisher

A stunning, evocative novel set in Ireland and Canada, Away traces a family’s complex and layered past. The narrative unfolds with shimmering clarity, and takes us from the harsh northern Irish coast in the 1840s to the quarantine stations at Grosse Isle and the barely hospitable land of the Canadian Shield; from the flourishing town o...

Jane Urquhart is the author of five internationally acclaimed novels: The Whirlpool, which received Le prix du meilleur livre étranger (Best Foreign Book Award) in France; Changing Heaven; Away, which won the Trillium Award and was a finalist for the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; The Underpainter, which won the...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 7.99 × 5.15 × 1.02 inPublished:August 24, 2010Publisher:McClelland & StewartLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0771086423

ISBN - 13:9780771086427

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Customer Reviews of Away

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from AWAY TOOK ME AWAY This book was spellbinding. The eatherial story melded with the grittiness of early Canadian history made for a great juxtaposition. Romance, politics, poetry, mystery, fantasy, and murder are all represented through masterful writing.
Date published: 2015-07-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Opening my eyes to what happened in Ireland in 1840s Be swept back to 1840s Ireland at the start of the Great Famine (Irish Potato Famine). Here the four generations of stories told from Esther's POV which you get to see into each of the characters and their attachment to land or sea. Yet, also see how their history was told through poems, songs/dance and stories to future generations. It just might sweep you away (or not).
Date published: 2013-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from J.J. Cameron Jane Urqhuart’s Away is a haunting story, its point of view emanating from the present through Ester O’Malley Robertson but focusing almost exclusively on the mid 1800s. It traces the lives of her ancestors—beginning in Ireland with Mary & Brian O’Malley, and continuing with their children, Liam and Eileen (Ester’s grandmother). Away puts a human face on an importance era of Canadian history through the O’Malleys—victims of a two-century-old British hegemony and unwilling evacuees of beloved Ireland. Although Irish born and influenced by its agonies, Liam longs to sublimate his culture’s anger against the British to the opportunities Canada presents; and he gets his wish, thanks to Osbert Sedgewick, who bankrolls Liam’s purchase of land on Lake Ontario. Eileen, meanwhile, is more emotional than practical, more in tune with the her mother’s ethereal character. Her desire to punish Britain for its treatment of a land she had never seen leads to a relationship which, in turn, involves her in one of Canada’s memorable incidents. Away does a wonderful job of evoking character in a meaningful historical setting; and while the continual switching of point of view initially challenges, it eventually becomes an accepted part of the novel’s rhythm. Away: Read it!
Date published: 2001-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Away from yourself You truly will become away from life while reading this book, if you become as indulged as I did. This read will take you on a journey through the characters minds and souls, as well as the beautifully dipicted country side in the novel. It spans from Ireland to Peterborough, Ontario, and from one woman's plight of feeling "away" from ordinary life to her great grand daughter's search for the answers to why. Urquhart breathes culture, passion, emotion and the journey of immigration into this riveting tale of family and inner emotions.
Date published: 2001-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Away from yourself You truly will become away from life while reading this book, if you become as indulged as I did. This read will take you on a jounrey through the character's mind and soul, as well as the beautifully dipicted country side in the novel. It spans from Ireland to Peterborough, Ontario, and from one woman's plight of feeling "away" from life to her great grand daughter's search for the answers to why. Urquhart breathes culture, passion, emotion and the journey of immigration into this riveting tale of family and inner emotions.
Date published: 2001-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Away For a full-time working mother of two, it takes a purposeful effort to steal away and read a novel. I found myself continually drawn to this wonderful book and wasn't prepared for it to end. It honestly could have been written about my own Irish/Canadian ancestors. A beautifully constructed generational story that leaves you expecting a continuation of the saga. It leaves a person wishing they could become such a writer.
Date published: 2000-10-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Away I couldn't buy into Urqhart's lyrical phantasmagoria the first three times I tried reading this book. But then I realized how essential the older mysticism of fabled Ireland was to the very consuming story that plays out in later colonial Canada. The two settings and eras blend and feed off each other with beautifully romantic images. Sounds like a chick book - but is highly recommended to all!
Date published: 1999-03-07

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Editorial Reviews

“A dazzling novel…written by a major novelist at the height of her considerable powers.”–Globe and Mail “One of those novels that moves in and takes over your life.…Enjoyable not only for its complexity and subtle characterization, but also for the sheer power of Urquhart's writing.…Away is simply a great novel.”–Books in Canada “Poignant, lilting and emotionally true.…Urquhart [creates] her own spell with language that shimmers.….”–Chicago Tribune“Urquhart writes with clear, sensuous poetry.”–Times Literary Supplement (U.K.)