The Heather Blazing

Colm Tóibín

29 June 2023
256 pages


Colm Tóibín's The Heather Blazing details the life of Eamon Redmond, a judge in Ireland’s high court, a man remote from his wife, his son and daughter and, at least outwardly, from his own childhood. The life he has built for himself, between his work in Dublin and his family’s retreat by the sea at Cush, is distinguished by order and by achievement. When, like his beloved coastline, it begins to slip away, he is pulled sharply into the present, and finds himself revisiting his past.
It is impossible to read Tóibín without being moved, touched and finally changed.
Proceeds with stately grace from past to present, incident to incident, slowly forming, as it moves, the full shape of a man’s public and private life.
If Colm Tóibín were a singer you would say he had perfect pitch.