Modern Gods

Modern GodsModern Gods by Nick Laird

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The light of Ulster traveled not by particle or wave but by indirection, hint, and rumor. A kind of light of no-light, emanating from a sun so swathed in clouds it was impossible to tell where it lurked in the sky.”

A beautifully written story of the damage wreaked by competing religions in both Northern Ireland and Papua New Guinea. The quote above and a few others had me entranced. A remote police station is labeled “in yellow tile across its forehead” and a skink becomes a “tiny dinosaur…to look at them, in their impertinence.”

The tiny, complex familial details of the adult Donnelly children returning home to their aging parents is near and dear to me and expertly drawn. If I have any gripe, it’s a pet peeve of mine to wildly swing among third-person omniscient points of view. This happens throughout, often for only a paragraph or two before shifting again.

The writing is luminous and confident and the Donnellys were frustrating and wonderful. Overall lovely and highly recommended.

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