Myles Foley gripped my soaked jumper. Before his ship sank he was a Nazi: now he's a drowning sailor. Out here, we are all sailors. Your father and grandfather understood that. Are you going to disgrace their memory? Part historical fiction, part extraordinary coming-of-age tale, The Lonely Sea and Sky charts the maiden voyage of fourteen-year-old Jack Roche aboard a tiny Wexford ship, the Kerlogue, on a treacherous wartime journey to Portugal. After his father's ship is sunk on this same route, Jack must go to sea to support his family swapping Wexford's small streets for Lisbon s vibrant boulevards: where every foreigner seems to be a refugee or a spy, and where he falls under the spell of Katerina, a Czech girl surviving on her wits. Bolger's new novel is based on a real-life rescue in 1943, when the Kerlogue's crew risked their lives to save 168 drowning German sailors - members of the navy that had killed Jack s father. Forced to choose who to save and who to leave behind, the Kerlogue grows so dangerously overloaded that no one knows if they will survive amid the massive Biscay waves. A brilliant portrayal of those unarmed Irish ships that sailed alone through hazardous waters; of young romance and a boy encountering a world where every experience is intense and dangerous, this is Bolger's most spellbinding novel, and the work of a master storyteller who is one of Ireland s best-known novelists, playwrights and poets.
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April 2016 : UK Paperback
April 2016 : Canada, UK Kindle edition