Surprisingly little can be found on Farewell Companions in the net. The Wikipedia page on James Plunkett doesn't contain much information, and there's nothing about Farewell Companions. Is James Plunkett still read today? Nevertheless, I liked Farewell Companions.
It's difficult not to compare Farewell Companions with A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight, although I haven't seen anyone else do just that. Both books (or maybe I should say "works of literature" as the latter spans no less than fifteen books) cover more or less the same period, from an middle-class perspective. In A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight we have Phillip Maddison to "guide" us and in Farewell Companions we follow Timothy McDonagh. I vastly prefer Farewell Companions.
The language is exquisite, with a gentle flow and wonderful melody. The book starts with young Timothy McDonagh looking in a photo-album. This /mode/ is used in the book. The reader is given glimpses, or rather photographs, into everyday Irish life from the time between the two World Wars. No information is given about the context of these glimpses, and I feel that my rudimentary knowledge of Irish history makes this yet more difficult. Little by little, the separate threads are woven together into one story.
Copyright © 2009 Peter Andrén