|Pages/Publication Date:||445 / 2007|
My wooing began in passion, was defined by violence and circumscribed by land; all these elements molded my soul. So writes Charles O'Brien, itinerant healer and Irishman in love, in the journals rediscovered by an obscure historian—the unnamed narrator in Frank Delaney's glorious story-within-a-story, who witnesses second-hand the nationhood of Ireland itself through the manuscript. Born in 1860, Charles roams the countryside dispensing traditional cures and collecting stories and legends. Summoned to Paris to treat the dying Oscar Wilde, he meets—and is rebuffed by—the beautiful young Englishwoman who inadvertently decides Charles's fate.