Star Of The Sea

Paperback | October 2, 2013

byConnor Joseph O

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In the bitter winter of 1847, from an Ireland torn by famine and injustice, the Star of the Sea sets sail for NewYork. On board are hundreds of refugees, some optimistic, many more desperate. Among them are a maid with a devastating secret, the bankrupt Lord Merridith, his wife and children, and a killer stalking the decks, hungry for the vengeance that will bring absolution. This journey will see many lives end, others begin anew. Passionate loves are tenderly recalled, shirked responsibilities regretted too late, and profound relationships shockingly revealed. In this spellbinding tale of tragedy and mercy, love and healing, the farther the ship sails toward the Promised Land, the more her passengers seem moored to a past that will never let them go. As urgently contemporary as it is historical, this exciting and compassionate novel builds with the pace of a thriller to a stunning conclusion.

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In the bitter winter of 1847, from an Ireland torn by famine and injustice, the Star of the Sea sets sail for NewYork. On board are hundreds of refugees, some optimistic, many more desperate. Among them are a maid with a devastating secret, the bankrupt Lord Merridith, his wife and children, and a killer stalking the decks, hungry for ...

Joseph O'Connor is the author of several widely acclaimed novels, including Cowboys Indians, Desperadoes, and The Salesman. He has also written criticism, plays, and screenplays, and edited Yeats Is Dead! He lives in Dublin.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 1 inPublished:October 2, 2013Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0156029669

ISBN - 13:9780156029667

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Customer Reviews of Star Of The Sea

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from complicated Tedious and hard to follow. Did not enjoy this book at all.
Date published: 2014-04-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A great read! I recommend this book, it was a great and involving read. The author was able to make me feel like I was there at times and like I was doing historical research at other times. Thouroughly enjoyabe and riviting.
Date published: 2014-04-07

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Read from the Book

CHAPTER IThe Leave-TakingThe FIRST of our TWENTY-SIX days at Sea: in which Our Protector records some essential Particulars, and the Circumstances attending our setting-out.VIII NOV. MDCCCXLVIIMONDAY THE EIGHTH DAY OF NOVEMBER, EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND FORTY-SEVEN TWENTY-FIVE DAYS AT SEA REMAINING.The following is the only register of Josias Tuke Lockwood, Master of Vessel, signed and written in his own hand; and I attest it on my solemn honour a compleat and true account of the voyage, and neither has any matter pertinent been omitted.LONG: 1016.7'W. LAT: 5135.5'N. ACTUAL GREENWICH STANDARD TIME: 8.17 P.M. WIND DIR. SPEED: S.S.W. Force 4. BUFFETING SEAS: rough. HEADING: W.N.W. 282.7. PRECIPITATION. REMARKS: Mild mist all the day but very cold and clear night. Upper riggings encrusted with ice. Dursey Island to starboard. Tearagh Isld visible at 524.5'N, 1039.7'W, most westerly point of Ireland and therefore of the United Kingdom. (Property of the Earl of Cork.)NAME OF VESSEL: The Star of the Sea (formerly the Golden Lady).BUILDER: John Wood, Port Glasgow (prop. engines by M. Brunel).OWNER: Silver Star Shipping Line Co.PREVIOUS VOYAGE: Dublin Port (South Docks) - Liverpool - Dublin Kingstown.PORT OF EMBARKATION: Queenstown (or The Cove). 5151'N; 00818'W.PORT OF DESTINATION: New York. 40.42'N; 74.02'W.DISTANCE: 2,768 nautical miles direct: to be factorised for tacking into westerlies.FIRST MATE: Thos. Leeson.ROYAL MAIL AGENT: George Wellesley Esq. (accompnd. by a servant, Briggs).WEIGHT OF VESSEL: 1,154 gross tons.LENGTH OF VESSEL: 207 ft beam 34 ft.GENERAL: clipper bows, one funnel, three square-rig masts (rigged for sail), oaken hull (copperfastened), three decks, a poop and topgallant forecastle, side-paddle wheel propulsion, full speed 9 knots. All seaworthy though substantial repairs required; also damage to interior fittings cetera. Bad leaking through overhead and bulkheads of steerage. Hull to be audited in dry dock at New York and caulked if required.CARGO: 5,000 lbs of mercury for Alabama Mining Co. The Royal Mail (forty bags). Sunderland coal for fuel. (Poor quality the supply, dirty and slaggy.) Luggage of passengers. Spare slop in stores. One grand piano for John J. Astor Esq. at New York.PROVISIONS: sufficient of freshwater, ale, brandy, claret, rum, pork, cocks, mutton, biscuit, preserved milk cetera. Also oatmeal, cutlings, molasses, potatoes, salt or hung beef, pork, bacon and hams, salted veal, fowl in pickle, coffee, tea, cyder, spices, pepper, ginger, flour, eggs, good port wine and porter-beer, pickled colewort, split peas for soup; and lastly, vinegar, butter, and potted herrings. Live beasts (caged) to be butchered on board: pigs, chickens, lambs and geese.One passenger, a certain Meadowes, is lodged in the lock-up for drunkenness and fighting. (A hopeless out-and-outer: he shall have to be watched.) Suspected case of Typhus Fever moved to the hold for isolation.Be it recorded

Editorial Reviews

First published in the U.K. and shortlisted for Irish Novel of the Year, this brooding new historical fiction by novelist, playwright and critic O'Connor (Cowboys and Indians) chronicles the mayhem aboard Star of the Sea, a leaky old sailing ship crossing from Ireland to New York during the bitter winter of 1847, its steerage crammed to the bulkheads with diseased and starving refugees from the Irish potato famine. The novel takes the form of a personal account written by passenger G. Grantley Dixon, a New York Times reporter who intersperses his narrative with reportage and interviews as he describes the intrigue that unfolds during the 26-day journey. There's Pius Mulvey, "a sticklike limping man from Connemara" known to the passengers as "the monster" or "the ghost," who shuffles menacingly around the ship and is the subject of many a rumor. There's Earl David Merridith of Kingscourt, one of the few passengers in first class, who has evicted thousands of his tenants for nonpayment of rent, dooming them and their families to almost certain death by starvation. Also aboard is the young widow, Mary Duane, a nanny for the Kingscourt children who shares a history of intimacies with both Kingscourt and Mulvey. And there is, of course, Kingscourt's wife, with whom Dixon is having an ill-advised affair. One of these passengers is on a mission to commit murder, and another is the fated victim. Through flashbacks, the complicated narrative paints a vivid picture of the rigors of life in Ireland in the mid-19th century. The engrossing, well-structured tale will hold historical fiction fans rapt.