The Barracks by John McGahern is a novel of haunting power, moving between tragedy and savage comedy, desperation and joy.
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Elizabeth Reegan, after years of freedom – and loneliness – marries into the enclosed Irish village of her upbringing. The children are not her own; her husband is straining to break free from the servile security of the police force; and her own life, threatened by illness, seems to be losing the last vestiges of its purpose. Moving between tragedy and savage comedy, desperation and joy, John McGahern’s first novel is one of haunting power.
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