rom the book jacket:
Once, Redmond Hatch was in heaven, married to the lovely Catherine and father to enchanting daughter Immy. But then he took them both to Winterwood. And it would never be the same again…
In Patrick McCabe's spellbinding new novel, nothing--and no one--are ever quite what they seem. When Hatch, devoted husband and father, revisits the secluded mountains where he grew up, he meets Auld Pappie Ned. While he claims to be just a harmless local fiddler, a teller of tall tales, Ned sets off a cataclysmic chain of events in Redmond's life. From the mysterious disappearance of Redmond's daughter to the reluctant remembrance of a troubled boyhood to secret glimpses into an unstable marriage, everything soon spirals out of control. Narrated with hypnotic precision and fractured lyricism, Winterwood is a disturbing and unforgettable tale of love, death and identity from a masterful novelist.
Here are my thoughts:
I must admit that I bought this book based on the fact that it won the 2007 Irish book award.
I found this book both fascinating and creepy. I read it in one sitting (well I was on a flight from Toronto to LA - five hours).
At first I had a hard time getting into the rhythm of his writing but once I did we were off flying.
The narrator tells the story as he is thinking about his life. He talks in circles and then comes back around again to give another version of his account.
It is soon evident to the reader that he is slipping into insanity but with a wicked sense of humour as he relates tales of his marriages and jobs as he saw it. Redmond Hatch has such a skewed view of reality that it is hard to know what to believe as he narrates the story.
There is horror thinly veiled that will make the hair stand up on your neck; as the narrator commits horrible acts that will attempt to convince you he had no choice.
Be warned topics covered include cyclical child molestation, child murder, and family murder. Absolutely fantastic writing!
I have to say I will be reading more of Patrick McCabe.