Book – This Side of Brightness by Colum McCann

I love Let the Great World Spin.

This one took a while to get into, despite it being as beautifully written.  I’m almost half way through when I realise that the author is writing about two different families, in different eras although I would have known that had I read the jacket first!

There’s two types of freedom, son.

The freedom to do what you want and the freedom to do what you should.

The story gives us the viewpoint of those men who endured ill-health and early demise to dig the tunnels beneath New York City so that the transportation we see today can be implemented. This is supplemented but the more modern story of those homeless – the forgotten society – who still make their homes underneath our pavements and the modern builders working on sky scrapers.

“The knowledge that he is the one who will pierce the virginity of

space where the steel hits the sky.”

 Because of my previous read, I read avidly to see where the generation connections may come; it’s a journey through history seeing what the successors know about their ancestors and how much has changed for them. The book centres on the racism that still exists in the early 20th century and in particular around a rock solid mixed marriage and their children.

An excellent, literal look look at New York’s underground.


Inspiration factor 7/10


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