The Canal Bridge

The Canal Bridge

A Novel of World War I

Book - 2014
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In 1913, before there is a rumor of war in Europe, two lifelong friends from Ballyrannel in the Irish midlands, Matthias "Matt" Wrenn and Con Hatchel, decide to see the world at the expense of the king of England and join the British army. A year later, while en route to India, their troop ship is recalled and they find themselves in the slaughterhouse that was World War I. As stretcher bearers, the two men witness the horrors of the battlefield and the waste of human life at the Somme, Ypres, and Passchendaele. Meanwhile, back home in Ireland, Con's sister and Matt's lover, Kitty Hatchel, yearns for their safe return and reminds them of their carefree childhood on the banks of the local canal, as well as their hopes for the future.

Brilliantly and movingly narrated as a chorus of voices from the community--Matt, Con, Kitty, and others-- The Canal Bridge tells the story of how the young men take Ballyrannel to war with them, and the many ways they bring the war's devastation home. At war's end, the Ireland the friends left in 1913 no longer exists, for the Rising against the British in 1916 has changed everything. In a land now riven with sectarian tensions and mounting bloodshed unfolds the love story of Matt and Kitty.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction--novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
Publisher: New York :, Arcade Publishing,, 2014
Edition: First North American edition
ISBN: 9781628723144
Branch Call Number: F PHE NVD
Characteristics: pages cm


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Mar 02, 2018

Is there any book about Ireland that doesn't make your heart break into wee bits? And yet you keep on reading because you have fallen in love with the people and the land with all the tragedies because the laughs are so great? The description of the trenches in WW1 was more than I could bear but the rest of the book was such an intimate tale of 3 lives and those who loved them I couldn't put it down.

Fantastic story; superbly written. If you like the genre of WW1 books, then you'll love this story. What a fabulous writer. Highly recommended!

beebee40 Jul 20, 2014

The author's use of chapters that have each character "speak" provides the reader with very different perspective of an event or subject; a creative tool.

Until the last third of the book I found the novel almost profound in describing the horror of The Great War.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, Mr. Phelan wrote with much repetition of previous parts of the novel to the point that the writing fell into cliches.

The story was "overdone" and I finished reading disappointed.

Jun 22, 2014

This book starts out sweetly with children calling across the canal and singing canal songs. Then the grown children are confronted with WWI and it is realistic and horrifying. Then there is postwar PTSD and healing.

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