Hilary Mantel

Still Haunted

The Blackwater Lightship

By

Picador 273pp £15 order from our bookshop

After an excursion to Argentina, the chief exponent of minimalist melancholy has returned to his own ground. Colm Tóibín’s third novel, The Story of the Night, was set in Galtieri country, in the terrain of the disappeared and the shadowy. It was an enigmatic work, which left a vapour-trail of apprehension in the reader’s mind. The Blackwater Lightship begins solidly in a Dublin suburb, where two married schoolteachers are starting their summer holidays. But the story soon moves to the coastal south-east, where land must negotiate for survival with the wind and the sea, and individuals must protect themselves from the eroding claims of family and the past.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'One of the reasons for its longevity is that it has virtually nothing to say about science and technology at all,… ,
    • 'The characters in many of these stories are trapped in the obsessive present tense of their own thoughts; in the m… ,
    • 'Libraries, for much of their existence, have embodied in microcosm many of the characteristics of the totalitarian… ,
    • 'Moss and Cynthia buy several properties through which to launder their ill-gotten gains, take lots of drugs, have… ,
    • 'Never mind the imperial cult. This is the cult of Boris. What happened to Rome?' From the LR archive:… ,
    • Thirty-two years ago this month, we published Muriel Spark's short story, 'A Playhouse Called Remarkable' Read it… ,
    • Time travel, bicycles and white horses populate @WomackPhilip's roundup of children's books by @marcussedgwick,… ,