The Law of Dreams tells the story of a young man's epic passage from innocence to experience during The Great Famine in Ireland of 1847.
On his odyssey through Ireland and Britain, and across the Atlantic to “the Boston states,” Fergus is initiated to violence, sexual heat, and the glories and dangers of the industrial revolution. Along the way, he meets an unforgettable generation of boy soldiers, brigands, street toughs and charming, willful girls – all struggling for survival in the aftermath of natural catastrophe magnified by political callousness and brutal neglect.
Peter Behrens transports the reader to another time and place for a deeply-moving and resonant experience. The Law of Dreams is gorgeously written in incandescent language that unleashes the sexual and psychological energies of a lost world while plunging the reader directly into a vein of history that haunts the ancestral memory of millions in a new millennium.
Smith, a sailor and author of How the Great Pyramid Was Built, intersperses occasionally dry explanations of the complex physics of waves with harrowing tales of modern-day maritime tragedies. He enumerates the natural forces that create waves: the moon's gravity pulls on the oceans; Earth's rotation pushes them; the sun heats them; the wind tugs against their surface; and earthquakes displace them. The resulting waves can propagate from one side of the ocean to the other. Waves from one storm race outward to interact with waves from another, while converging ocean currents force them even higher or flatten them out completely. The complexity of it beggars the imagination. In modern times, Smith says, with the importance of shipping and the growth of off-shore drilling platforms, understanding waves is more vital than ever we must especially understand extreme, or rogue, waves that seem to appear out of nowhere and tower over 100 feet high. In a chapter on the 2004 tsunami, Smith recounts the harrowing experience of two scuba divers caught in the maelstrom and suggests California could be at risk for a future tsunami. Science is only beginning to understand tsunamis, hurricanes and rogue waves, and Smith's book is for readers who want a serious scientific look at what we're learning. Illus.
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Dreams of my Mother
The first sentence captured me. My mothers father was from Scariff. I barely knew him, he dies when I was seven years old, and we lived far apart. I know he must have been in better circumstances than Ferguson, as he did not come over to New York until the late 1890's. At 15, he was conscripted by the British Army to fight in the Boar War. Rather than that, his mother gave him his passage. He had to find his way to Cork on his own, and on to New York. he never saw his mother again.
But the book gave me a very deep feeling of what my people went through. He must have had uncles and aunts and cousins who went through the famine, the workhouse, the leavings. Beautifully written. I now want to delve deeper in to the history of my family and the horrors they went through that lead to my existence here, in America.