2007: 7. Without My Cloak

“The light of the October day was dropping from afternoon clarity to softness when Anthony Considine led his limping horse round the last curve of the Gap of Storm and halted there to behold the Vale of Honey.”

Without My Cloak, Kate O’Brien

Without My Cloak is a family saga, telling the story of the Considine family, whose fortunes started with Anthony stealing a horse in 1789, leading through Honest John, who made a fortune, Anthony his son, who maintained it, and finally his son Dennis, who wants more than the strangling life of being one of the first families in Mellick, Ireland.* The story is interesting, in that it is a Victorian family type saga – think Dickens or Eliot – but was written in the 1930’s, so it addresses at least some of the issues that the Victorians glossed over (like some oblique sex, for example). It reminds me, somewhat, of The Forsythe Saga, though it’s less rich than that sweeping novel(s).

I enjoyed reading the book – it took me a while to get into it, and I wasn’t convinced that Dennis was quite as extraordinary as the author did, but the story was sufficiently sweeping and the characters sufficiently tortured for this sort of story. A fun read.


Recommend for: People who liked family sagas, people who like quasi-Victorian stories.


*For Mellick, read Limerick


Date/Place Completed: 01/12/07, DC

Categories: Fiction, Virago Modern


© Carrie Dunsmore 2017