Title: The Promise of Light
Author: Paul Watkins
About the Book:
A young American man searches for his family's past amidst the earliest days of the Irish Troubles.
Paul Watkins is possibly our best living author. The research he did for The Promise of Light shines through to set the reader in Ireland in the early 1920s (in fact, I think I remember reading that he lived in the town for a while, and would walk in the fields wearing the old boots his characters wore, so he would know exactly how it would feel and sound to be there). Watkins' strengths are in place and in ruggedly male characters; characters the reader connects with, without feeling all warm and fuzzy about it. The Promise of Light may be my favorite of Watkins' books, but it is right up there with Stand Before Your God and Archangel... both dealing with subjects I didn't know I was interested in until his writing drew me into them. I whole-heartedly recommend any of these.