Interesting concept: Girl goes on hunger strike in Ireland to support the peace processes and her unsuspecting mother and father-like figure physically travel to save her while also traveling back in time in their minds to understand how this happened. My problem with the book was the narrator: an offscreen voice which pulled me out of the story and distracted me.
This book explores the powerful bond between mother and child. It explores the roles of art, beauty and religion as well as political action. In 1998 a single mother who, back in the 60's had a radical past, receives a phone call from the State Department telling her that her daughter , Pearl, who is in Ireland studying, is having a hunger strike to mark the death of a young man after a contested Irish peace agreement.
The mother now must reexamine all her assumptions about her daughter as she boards a plane to Ireland. This book makes you really think about a lot of different issues, not the least of which is that special bond between mothers and daughters. It is very good in that it stretches the mind wonderfully like any really good book should!!
Mary Gordon writes of a coming of age and the problems of maturing with a mother daughter relationship. It takes place in Ireland and you can practically smell the streets. Pearl gets involved in an issue that seems to not concern her at first glance.
On a Christmas night of 1998, Maria learns that her 22 yr.old daughter has chained herself outside the American embassy in Dublin threateninc to starve herself to death. Maria herself was once a student radical.