New, unmistakably Irish, this is a social and psychological cosmos of evocative writing, the authenticity of J.M. Synge, the thuggery of Brendan Behan . . . one exquisite insight after another into the mind of the protagonist, what it is like to be lost and flawed, maybe insane.
I found it compelling, each chapter a literary or visceral delight; I could neither wait for nor predict the sublime outcome. I commend this work in the strongest way. It has epic qualities.
Jack Engelhard: International Best-Selling Author of Indecent Proposal
A taut, richly atmospheric tale of romance and redemption set amid the wild grandeur of Ireland’s Atlantic coast. At its heart On the Edge of the Loch is an exploration of hope, the shining possibilities, the harsh limits. Hope is the strand that runs through the lives of almost every character, binding them one to the other, a silvery thread reflecting light in shadow.
Geography is a full-blooded character here, a rejuvenating, life-giving force, and Cummins’ gift for describing it, alternately solemn and resplendent, is as cinematic as the sweep of the land itself.
James Rutherford: Author of Trumped! The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump (Crossroad Press, 2016)
This story is dark and frightening and brilliantly bright, with twists and turns like the back roads of its west of Ireland setting.
Just when the author gives you enough to let you think you have figured out the two lead characters, here comes another of those perplexing but pleasing turns, and heart-pounding action scenes to increase the stakes and your nervousness. On my second read I will take more time to appreciate the creative turns of phrase that seem the gift of the Irish. And I’ll listen again for rhythms of other Dubliners, like James Joyce. Yes, it will be worth the second read.
Dick Noble: Author of The Adventures of Mousco Polo
I read a book with the anticipation of a journey that will take me out of the ordinariness of life, into places unknown. On The Edge Of The Loch gifted me this and so much more. I feel fortunate to be asked to read an advance copy. The reader is introduced to characters who immediately feel alive; you truly care about them. I found very early that I had become a part of the story, continually imagining the climax (with anxiety), hoping I had foreseen what lay ahead. I hadn’t!
The book lived up to all the big expectations it built up in me – it’s a journey of heart-stopping moments, not without romance and tenderness. What a great movie or TV series this would make!
Emma Feix Alberts: Author of All That Is Familiar
On the Edge of the Loch builds its deeply focused qualities around one seemingly simple concept: Leave the reader wanting more. This is what each chapter accomplishes as the plot becomes more complicated with each new psychological twist.
Cummins’ gift lies not only in his ability to weave a theme through intricate wording and exquisite characterisation, he presents layer upon layer to force the reader to constantly question. What appears at first as conventional perspectives on love, moves far beyond cliché with surprising results. In the tradition of Thomas Hardy, Cummins blends the Irish landscape with psychological intrigue to produce a truly compelling read.
Daniel R. Flinn: Author of Dancing with the Ants
A story as inspiring as it is original, full of brooding, suspense, tension, complex character relationships, the superiority of new dreams. But it’s also a romance. In many scenes the music of Riverdance played in my head, words dancing off the page, beautiful poetic language, nothing short of startling at times; and the scene at the cottage with Lenny and her mother is haunting.
This is simply a beautifully crafted story, compelling and original. I was transported back in time to many happy visits to Ireland.
Amanda Clowes: Cambridge, England
Cummins delivers at a forceful pace the near cursedly indomitable spirit at the very essence of what it is to be Irish. His characters range from the living souls of its city streets to the mercurial, earthy and embracing denizens of its rugged coastline. This ‘hero’s journey’ is a tapestry woven from themes jagged and brutal, forgiving and abiding. You can touch the texture of the thoughts and feelings of Cummins’ characters. Above all, though, it’s honest, unpretentious, and unapologetic. A very good read . . . one very memorable tale.
Robert S. Galasso: Vancouver, Canada
From start to finish I was captivated – by the main characters, the scenes in Dublin, western Ireland and America, all presented in such vivid terms. I loved how the writer describes the emotions of the characters; I felt I was almost part of their souls.
At times you think you know where the writer is bringing you, then you realise you don’t have a clue! It’s a compelling love story, with a backdrop of the complexity of relationships and life experiences. If you love a novel full of raw emotion and fantastic characters, this is for you!
Janet Mooney: Dublin, Ireland
A vivid picture of the human condition, it left me wondering what became of the characters as their lives went on. Many aspects of human life are alluded to: the utter inhumanity of war, the hopelessness of incarceration, unbridled self-sacrifice, etc.
The author draws upon powerful imagery to illustrate challenges that can seldom be altered. References to Mweelrea, the enchanting yet foreboding mountain, reinforce the enormity of the task facing protagonists Tony and Lenny. But Leo and Cilla’s selfless qualities lift the novel. This examination of loss and its impact upon those who have yet to fully understand how their lives have been affected by it, provides the reader with many layers to ponder.
Nigel Castle: Ely, Cambridgeshire, UK
Joseph Éamon Cummins, an award-winning writer, taught creative writing and psychology for ten years. His new novel On the Edge of the Loch: A Psychological Novel set in Ireland is available on Amazon in print or ebook – http://amzn.to/28RRRdt.
2 thoughts on “Reviews: International Praise for On the Edge of the Loch”
I agree with all of the above
I too was afforded an advance copy.
I , being an avid reader was
hesitant to put down Seamsus Heaney’s entralling poems (gotta love Mr Heaney RIP) yet I did so for what I expected to be a brief sojourn from the simple intensity of ‘The Philosopher Poet.’
My sojourn became significantly more than brief for I was tugged furiously into a different kind of poetry. One that paints a litany of beautiful and intense, very intense characters against a background rugged and beautiful. I was there , falling in love, body and soul with his wonderful cast of personalities . I cried. I cheered.
I laughed. I feared. I became friends
I became family.
I apologized to my favorite poet Seamus and I promised to be back soon. After I read again The edge of the loch.
Kudos Mr Cummins Kudos
Walter Macken would be proud .For you have sought the Fairland with the simple people who know of terrible beauty. God bless you for this wonderful work.
I predict it will long stand the test of time.
Sincere thanks, Cristoir, for your comments.
I applaud your insights. I set out in fact to create a story about ‘simple people’ – simple people with the potential to move readers to understand better how rich and resilient humans are, particularly when life events deny them their fair chance, and how dignity, courage, and moral calling may be suppressed but are never destroyed.
It’s not a fairy tale, by any stretch, because life is not, and not a hero-heavy tale either, which would defeat realism. Rather, it’s a story, as you noted, about simple people caught up in life’s complications, and how they resolve – or not – their existential crises.
All our most memorable stories are ‘human’ stories, and all involve overcoming – or at least taking life on.