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The River Capture

Thirty-four year old Luke O’Brien has left the city to live a quiet, bookish life on the River Sullane in County Waterford. Alone in his big house, he longs for a return to his family’s heyday and turns to books—especially Ulysses—for solace and sublimation. One morning a young woman arrives at his door and enters his life, with profound consequences.

A novel that pays glorious homage to Joyce, The River Capture tells of a man’s phenomenal descent into near madness when love is lost. It is about humanity’s capacity for good and evil and what happens when Nature is thwarted. More than anything, it is a book about the life of the mind and the redemptive powers of art.

Mary Costello
About the Author

Mary Costello’s short story collection The China Factory was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award. Her first novel, Academy Street, was shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award, the Costa First Novel Prize and the EU Prize for Literature. It won the Irish Novel of the Year Award and the overall Irish Book of the Year in...

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Text publication date:
15 October 2019
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Praise for Mary Costello
andThe River Capture

The River Capture is breath-taking. It is profound in the most bruising way; elegant, and then thrillingly savage; expansive, but masterfully precise, and full of sentences that made me choke on jealous rage. Costello is in a different class altogether.’

‘Astonishingly bittersweet and beautiful, The River Capture is a quiet, important, hypnotic book about absolutely everything. It is as near perfect as it is possible for a novel to be’

‘A novel of glorious abundance: reverent and angry and earthy and spiritual. Costello takes the familiar and transforms it, again and again, into soaring meditations on love, sensuality, human cruelty. To read The River Capture is to witness a writer in evolution, taking her work to a whole new level. This is a bold, sophisticated, beautiful novel, both a homage to Joyce and a deeply personal and contemporary work’

‘Costello’s…style is honed down to deceptively simple profundity, capturing emotional essence with breathless economy.’

‘With extraordinary devotion, Mary Costello brings to life a woman who would otherwise have faded into oblivion amid the legions of the meek and the unobtrusive.’

‘I read Academy Street cover to cover in one night, unable to stop. It…brings to mind the elegance of Colm Toibin and the insight of Alice Munro. Its stealthy, quiet power will exert a hold over any reader.’

‘These stories resonate profoundly together, whether through powerful parallels or upsetting contrasts.’

Other editions ofThe River Capture
  • The River Capture
    ISBN: 9781922253897
    15 October 2019
    Buy ebook