rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you ever wonder what daily life is like in rural Ireland, John McGahern’s novel That They May Face the Rising Sunmay be a book that you want to pick up. Its a serene, meandering story about a small community surrounding a lake. We meet the local residents and experience their days with them. It is a book with a plot per se, other than the daily events in the characters lives. McGahern does an amazing job painting a scene.
The next morning a white mist obscured even the big trees along the shore. Gossamer hung over the pear and plum and apple trees in the orchard and a pale spiderwebbing lay across the grass in the fields. A robin was trapped in the glasshouse and set free before it became prey for the black cat. The heavy mower was uncoupled from the tractor and replaced by the tedder. The very quiet and coolness of the morning was delicious with every hour promising later heat.
I found the prose to be beautiful and while the book wasn’t a page turner, it was a pleasure to read. It was a book that I would read a little bit of at a time and then put it aside to pick up again another day.