The Heart In Winter

The Heart In Winter

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Gabi's Review

Kevin Barry's latest work, The Heart In Winter, is a lyrical, profane, and propulsive love story that shows his mastery of style, humour, and poetic exploration of the human heart.

In the autumn of 1891, as a harsh winter looms over the Rocky Mountains, Butte, Montana is bustling with copper mines and a wild, reckless atmosphere fuelled by the hard-living, immigrant Irish workers. Tom Rourke, a young poet and troubled soul, leads a life of drugs, alcohol, and reckless behaviour. When Polly Gillespie, wife of the pious dreary mine captain Anthony Harrington arrives in town, a passionate love affair ignites between her and Tom. Impelled by their fiery passion, they escape on a stolen horse, journeying through the untamed lands of Montana and Idaho and living in a brief, romantic paradise. But their idyllic journey is cut short by the arrival of a group of crazed gunmen from Cornwall in relentless pursuit of the couple.  As Tom and Polly race towards the distant safety of San Francisco, we know that their choices will haunt them forever.

You never float above Kevin Barry's books, they land you straight into the mud! I loved The Heart In Winter for its haunting lyrical phrases and quotable descriptions and two gorgeously flawed lovers. If you are in the mood for a wild adventure and a touching if rather morally sordid love story, this new novel from a wonderful Irish writer won’t disappoint.

Publishers Reviews 

Butte, Montana, October 1891, and a hard winter approaches across the Rocky Mountains. The city is rich on copper mines and rampant with vice and debauchery among a hard-living crowd of immigrant Irish workers. Here we find Tom Rourke, a young poet and balladmaker of the town, but also a doper, a drinker, and a fearsome degenerate. Just as he feels his life is heading nowhere fast,

Polly Gillespie arrives in town as the new bride of the extremely devout mine captain Long Anthony Harrington. A thunderbolt love affair takes spark between Tom and Polly and they strike out west on a stolen horse, moving through the bad-lands of Montana and Idaho, and briefly an idyll of wild romance perfects itself. But a posse of deranged Cornish gunsmen are soon in hot pursuit of the lovers, and closing in fast.