Star of the Sea, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (9 ratings)


In the bitter winter of 1847, from an Ireland torn by injustice and natural disaster, the Star of the Sea sets sail for New York.

On board are hundreds of fleeing refugees. Among them are a maidservant with a devastating secret, bankrupt Lord Merridith and his family, an aspiring novelist, a maker of revolutionary ballads, all braving the Atlantic in search of a new home.

Each is connected more deeply than they can possibly know.

But a camouflaged killer is stalking the decks, hungry for the vengeance that will bring absolution.

The twenty-six day journey will see many lives end, others begin afresh.

In a spellbinding story of tragedy and mercy, love and healing, the further the ship sails towards the Promised Land, the more her passengers seem moored to a past which will never let them go.


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Showing 1 - 5 of 9 reviews.

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Review by

Read this fairly recently, and I loved it. The book tells the story of a range of characters travelling to New York on the Star of the Sea. Some are farmers whose families have sold everything to pay for their tickets, others are landowners whose estates have fallen into bankruptcy because of the famine. The book reveals the history of the characters with humour and empathy.

Review by

Essentially a very simple story, The Star of the Sea charts ship of immigrants crossing the Atlantic from Ireland to America. What makes this book special is the intertwining narratives and the sheer depth of characterisation.Absolutely wonderful.

Review by

One of those multi-charactered, ambitiously-researched historical novels that should be annoying and slow, but is instead emotional and even suspenseful.

Review by

A handful of larger-than-life characters embroiled in a twisting, all but incestuous plot. Tthe story's great but the best bit is that O'Connor manages to incorporate into that a respectable knowledge and understanding of Anglo-Irish politics, and he does it in a way that enhances the story. I liked this a lot.

Review by

I read this book lately while on vacation in the countryside. A boat leaves Ireland in 1847 during the Great Famine bound for America with a diverse set of passengers all with different reasons for undertaking the voyage. Joseph O'Connor presents the reader with a murder mystery against the background of famine ,land evictions and vengeance. A superb story which enlightens the reader of the horrific conditions pertaining in Ireland that Famine year while setting up the background for the murder at sea and then leading us to a startling denouement. Very highly recommended.

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