On August 28, 1922, the martyred Irish patriot Michael Collins was buried. Businesses across Dublin closed as thousands came out to pay their respects. On the same day, Michael Lyons, a cooper from the Guinness factory, drowned in Dublin's Royal Canal. This peculiar confluence is Mark Anthony Jarman's starting point for a meditation on the intertwined history of a nation and his family. Jarman's pursuit of the circumstances of his grandfather's drowning leads him through a modern Ireland that teems with ghosts from the past. Thwarted by family gossip, aunts who can't drive a stick shift, cousins more interested in pubs than lore, and his own fascination with the many Irelands that have been, Jarman finds what he's seeking despite, or perhaps because of, the antics and the unreliable histories. What he reconfigures is a revelation, and an enchanting and engrossing read.
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