Wish Furey is a young Catholic man making his way in Newfoundland, off the coast of Canada, at the outset of World War II. His world is turned upside down when he meets Mercedes (Sadie) Parsons. Deeply in love, the fact that she is Protestant becomes a barrier to their future and her family does everything they can to put a stop to it. He is chased back to the mainland after an altercation with Sadie’s brother, and is encouraged to join the military to escape a probable murder charge.
Meanwhile, Sadie leaves home in search of Wish, and learning of his enlistment, decides to wait for him. At the same time, Wish (still in love with Sadie, but having no knowledge that she is waiting for him) is captured by the Japanese and interned near Nagasaki.
Author Michael Crummey writes a beautiful and heartfelt narrative about the hope that keeps us going through the most difficult of times. Both Sadie and Wish endure terrible hardships that have a long lasting effect on both their lives. Crummey’s writing is a poignant reminder that life is not always neat, and the events that shape us often take us in unexpected directions.
I loved the way the author develops his characters. Each event presents another layer of depth – the pain and suffering both Sadie and Wish endure deepens their personalities and draws the reader in. I was very impressed with this novel and look forward to reading more by this author in the future.
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2006