After Monday's post on the enduring symbol of friendship between the United States and France, it seemed appropriate to write about Colum McCann's TransAtlantic. It is both as expansive as the sea that separates Europe and North America as well as personally intimate, like the spray of salt water on someone's face.
So what is TransAtlantic about? It's about journeys of the sea. It's about plane trips. It's about famous people: Frederick Douglas, Daniel O'Connell, Alcock and Brown and also about the quiet "background actors" that make up the fabric of any good story. It's about monumental events- the Irish famine, the Good Friday Agreement brokering peace in Northern Ireland, the American Civil War and the first successful transatlantic flight. But, it's also about the anguish of the human heart, the spirit of determination and the intricately linked histories of Ireland with life beyond the Atlantic.
TransAtlantic will no doubt touch many readers with its enthralling story- a story that many readers will find themselves or their ancestors in, in some guise or another. As wonderful as the Pacific is with its host of beauty, sea life, rich cultures and people, Trans-Pacific just doesn't have the same historical and personal pull to many the way that TransAtlantic does.
My best to you all,