DAIMONS by Nina Fitzpatrick

DAIMONS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The secret lives of the elves and fairies who run the Emerald Isle, courtesy of Fitzpatrick (a.k.a. Nina Witozek, Polish-born, and the late Patrick Sheerhan).

Daimons aren’t really elves or fairies, to tell the truth, and they’re certainly not demons. They’re more on the order of guardian angels who observe and guide the actions of each and every godforsaken fool who ever walked the face of God’s green earth. Here, as before, Fitzpatrick ((The Loves of Faustina, 1995, etc.) takes us into the wilds of Ireland, where we follow the daimons of windswept Uggala Island as they go about their daily chores. Uggala is the sort of place you don’t return to without a good reason: Danny Ruane came back there after cracking up at Oxford, for example, and Ethna O’Keefe forsook sunny Florence and returned to her rainy family home only after her French boyfriend left her with child. Like many isolated places, Uggala has more than its share of oddballs. Apart from Danny (who now dedicates himself to seducing foreign tourists and writing a history of creation), there’s the local socialist Tom O’Reilly (improbably married to the most devout Catholic ashore), the aging hippie astrologer and singer Biafra O’Dee, and a new parish priest who has an uncomfortable knack for making women fall in love with him. The story is told by Ethna’s son Finn, who begins his narration in the womb (where he has a twin sister who refuses to be born) and seems to understand the world of the grownups better than they do. No surprise there, really, since Finn (like most humans under the age of six or so) is still conscious of his daimons and shares in their heightened perceptions of reality.

Despite the wooly New Age wrappings, a delightful portrait of an enchanted (and hilarious) land inhabited by a race of genial madmen—Ireland, in other words.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 1-932112-14-6
Page count: 312pp
Publisher: Justin, Charles
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2003




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