Cover image for Daimons
FitzPatrick, Nina.
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First edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Justin, Charles & Co. ; Lanham, Md. : Distributed by National Book Network, 2003.
Physical Description:
305 pages ; 22 cm
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Daimons are not demons. So begins this magical, utterly beguiling new novel by Nina Fitzpatrick. She weaves a lushly patterned tapestry that combines the mythic Irish tropes of triumph and sorrow with the magical realism of a Borges or Marquez.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Once Ethna, brilliant black sheep of an Irish small-island family, returned pregnant and unwed from art school in Italy, to the enrichment of local gossip and the despair of her codependent mother. She then found true love with dissolute, Rumi-spouting philosopher Danny Ruane. Vile American Rob Roberts' recent arrival with plans for a Spanish Armada memorial bids to swamp the pair's idyll, however, unless Ethna's son, Finn, reveals the village secret about how the shipwrecked Spaniards were actually received. Meanwhile, Father Francis finds true love with Danny's American ex-lover, fair Clare, and sets up shop as a married priest, to the delight of local gossip, of course, and the despair of the archbishop. Rounding out the cast are ithyphallic Biafra O'Dee, who harvests each summer's crop of freewheeling female tourists; Finn's stillborn but still quite active twin, Thresheen; prayerful Holy Paddy, who walks backwards only; and a dozen other peculiar residents of the unforgettably peculiar island of Uggala. Those who think that the pale lettuce of the American greenback isn't in Ireland's palette, that priests ought to either keep their vows or shut up, and that the rural Irish are smiling rather than gritting their teeth in family photos won't like this book. Those with a more complex (or jaundiced) view of the land of saints 'n' scholars may think it Ireland's best comic novel in years. --Patricia Monaghan Copyright 2003 Booklist

Library Journal Review

"Daimons are not demons.[They] are radiant beings that impart a pattern to people, animals, plants, and places." So explains Finn O'Keefe, who narrates events taking place on Uggala, a small island off Ireland's west coast. Finn begins his tale from his mother's womb, which he is sharing with twin sister Thresheen as their mother contemplates throwing herself from the ferry rather than return to Uggala unmarried and pregnant. With the help of Thresheen, who did not survive her birth and is thus able to move about the island more freely, Finn communes with the daimons of all of Uggala's people and places. Uggala, which has been in the doldrums, is soon shaken to its roots. The new priest attracts a mainland following, two wastrels who have labored over their books and songs suddenly achieve rock-star popularity, and the islanders exploit their connection to the Spanish Armada to bring in hosts of new tourists, all of which causes their daimons to suffer. There's plenty to keep readers absorbed in this entertaining third offering from the duo writing as FitzPatrick (The Loves of Faustyna), and the otherworldly aspects don't overwhelm the text; this is mainly the tale of a town coming back to life. Recommended for large general fiction collections.-Debbie Bogenschutz, Cincinnati State Technical & Community Coll. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.