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In 1919 Emily Ehrlich watches as two young airmen, Alcock and Brown, emerge from the carnage of World War One to pilot the very first non-stop transatlantic flight from Newfoundland to the west of Ireland. In 1845 Frederick Douglass, a black American slave, lands in Ireland to champion ideas of democracy and freedom, only to find a famine unfurling at his feet. And in 1998 Senator George Mitchell criss-crosses the ocean in search of an elusive Irish peace. Stitching these stories intricately together, Colum McCann sets out to explore the fine line between what is real and what is imagined, and the tangled skein of connections that make up our lives.When the tributaries thawed, they floated the ice all the way to St Louis on a barge that complained under the weight. The cakes were ... Apple jelly. Peaches in preserve. Lily had never seen such stores of food. She moved among the full shelves in a daze. On Sundays they loaded their horse cart with spare provisions and drove them to church, early, so that they could be distributed quietly amongst others. ... An air of hammered pride about them, as if they would not need it long.

Author: Colum McCann
Publisher:Bloomsbury Publishing - 2013-05-23

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