At last! A book we thought refreshingly different and well written, though harrowing and brutal.
Days Without End, introduces us to Thomas McNulty, who has crossed the Atlantic to rebuild his life. The traumatic chaos of what he’s left behind in Sligo – his family dead from famine, his country “starved in her stocking feet”, is more than matched by the horrors that he encounters in the US. Thomas teams up with a boy named John Cole, and becomes a dancer, rigged out in women’s clothing to entertain miners, a “prairie fairy”. But when the bloom of youth departs the pair at 17, they volunteer for the US Army and join the Oregon Trail to California. “We knew in our hearts our work was to be Indians,” the settlers who now regarded themselves as the rightful occupants of the South-West wanted rid of them, at a price of two dollars a scalp..
‘A love story, humour, well-drawn characters, and the senselessness and brutality of the Indian Wars. An excellent read.’
‘I finally finished Days Without End in one shattering late-night push. I agree with your verdict.. some lyrical descriptions which off-set the brutal details of the story told’.
‘Yes it was a rather harrowing read, but I thought very fresh and different, and well written. Much enjoyed!’.
Sara, Clapham Library book group