Hauntingly told and emotionally charged, this is an immense story of consuming addiction and the betrayal of trust.
‘I knew that the black dot of pain that lay in the centre of his eyes also lay in mine, and that it was a stain that no amount of washing or praying could shift. I think of my loneliness, how it coils around the centre of my being like a long thread of steel and realise that my father must have been the same, he stood on the outside of our family condemned as an ogre, just as I do now.’
Gabriel O’Rourke seemingly has everything: a loving wife, an adoring young son, a worthwhile job. He is rooted in a community, is part of a family, has a home. Yet, gradually, his world slowly pulls apart, until Gabriel finds himself homeless and destitute, living out of rubbish skips on the street. In a psychotic haze he is admitted into a secure unit, his body addled by alcohol, his mind broken. Here, by confronting the blighting reality of his own alcoholism, Gabriel is forced finally to unearth the muddled spectre of the past: the black betrayals by those around him, his traumatic relationship with his father, and the true darkness of some obsessions.
Learning to navigate a landscape pockmarked with trauma to undergo a journey of painstaking absolution and halting reconstruction, Gabriel understands that only by untangling the mistakes of the past can he hope to reclaim his future.
Reviews of Falling out of Heaven
- Reviews for Torn Water:
- ‘Lynch brings alive the grimy realities of a land and family in the grip of the Troubles, while also conjuring the lilting dreamscapes of a young boy’s mind.’ Observer
- ‘A tale of great delicacy and originality, in which the fierce intensity of adolescence and, even more, the paranoia and yearning of childhood are evoked with precision, grace and overwhelming conviction.’ Independent on Sunday
- ‘“Torn Water” has the tight tone and feel of the period it depicts and captures well the uncertainties of someone leaving the capsule of childhood behind and taking their first footsteps out into the vast unknown where there are no certainties and no ghosts or angels to guide you.’ Irish Sunday Independent
- ‘As a moral lesson for modern Ireland it is conventional but appealing.’ Irish Times
- ‘You get the beat of a writer’s heart all the way through the book.’ Jennifer Johnston