The O'Briens follows the family from The Law of Dreams two generations later: Joe O'Brien is coming of age in a new century in remote Pontiac County, Quebec, with his two brothers and two sisters by his side. Their father has abandoned the family and died in the South African war; their frail mother has remarried the abusive and lecherous Mick Heaney. Joe and his siblings escape the poverty and violence of the Pontiac, but as Joe travels the continent, building a business and a bright young family with his wife, Iseult, he is never quite able to leave his past behind.
Told from the perspectives of Joe, Iseult, and their children and spanning the construction of the Canadian railroad as well as both world wars, this is a majestic novel that mirrors the scope and sweep of what Wilfrid Laurier calls "Canada's Century." Tragic, romantic, and as vivid as the novel that preceded it, The O'Briens is an epic of great heart, imagination, and narrative force.
Peter Behrens is the author of the Governor General's Literary Award-winning novel, The Law of Dreams, published around the world to wide acclaim, and a collection of short stories, Night Driving. His short stories and essays have appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Tin House, Saturday Night, and the National Post. He was born in Montreal and lives on the coast of Maine with his wife and son.
Time and time again, Behrens proves himself a first-rate seanchaí, the Irish term for a storyteller, by bringing the O'Brien clan to life on the page.