Blackwater Lightship, The

Toibin, Colm

  9 Reviews

Ireland in the early 1990s. Helen's adored, younger brother is dying and the family find themselves gathered in the grandmother's house, together with two of Declan's friends. A story of an estranged family, painfully starting to communicate again. Told in a quiet and non-judgemental way. Shortlisted Booker Prize, 1999.

Comments from Groups

Enjoyed by all. Most would like to read more by this author. Wanaka 016

An easy read - but really lots of layers. Not a happy story. Good discussion on changed attitudes towards Aids with education and relaxing attitudes and prejudices. Te Pirita 001

Generally enjoyed for its insightful characterisation. Some deliciously amusing dialogue. Thought provoking. Recommended reading. Auckalnd 134

Easy read. Active discussion, particularly around mother/daughter relationship and the style of writing. Napier 024

This book provoked one of the best and longest discussions we have had. While it is not an enjoyable read, it is a thought provoking one. Leigh 001

This book received the highest score of any book that our group has read. Easy read - deceptive depth. Greytown 003

We loved this book - the 'less is more' language and the themes of family and friendship. Great discussion. Auckland 226



We thoroughly enjoyed this book. Wonderful writing, great characters.
NELS 056
Our group felt this book didn't live up to the reviews. It showed promise in the first few chapters but we felt it didn't deliver. We did however enjoy the poetic language, and all had clear visuals of the landscape and surroundings.
AKAR 005
We all enjoyed the book and we had a vibrant and interesting discussion about the complexity of the relationships in the book, and how they developed and changed. Some members had had personal experiences (eg. losing a parent) and this enhanced the discussion.
MAST 013
We didn't like the topic but enjoyed reading the book. Difficult topics were well covered - both the family dynamics and Aids. Quality writing but sometimes long winded.
WELL 086
We loved this book. What a great way to start the Book Group year!
NELS 007
A challenging but fascinating read. Thoroughly recommended.
Most were very impressed with the book. The conversations were believable, and the handling of difficult relationships showed great insight. It was easy to read. A few thought this was a book in which not much happened.
WELL 123
An interesting commentary on Irish life at the time. Some enjoyed the book more than others.
Mixed reviews, it was either loved or hated. An easy read that showed the changes in peoples' views towards Aids and how we believe NZer's thinking is far more liberal.