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James Mangan is adrift. He has lived in the shadow of his brilliant movie-star wife for years and now she has finally dispensed with him. Then he comes across an old daguerreotype of a man bearing a remarkable resemblance to him. Is it in fact a photograph of the great 19th-century Irish poet James Clarence Mangan, rumored to be Jamie's direct ancestor? Off to Ireland he goes, determined to discover his roots and to locate himself. What he finds is scarcely the heartwarming affirmation of identity he yearns for. On the contrary, the remaining members of the Mangan clan-derelict Eileen, reticent and vaguely hostile Dinny, drunken (and shrunken) Conor, and oversexed teenager Kathleen-are haunted by a strange and dark family history. Thrice shortlisted for the Booker prize, Brian Moore was an unparalleled spinner of captivating tales. This novel, vividly set in such disparate locations as New York City, Montreal, and rural Ireland, sweeps the reader into a story of literary suspense about the hidden legacies that shape our lives.