In February of 1970, Thomas Lynch, aged twenty-one, bought a one-way ticket to Ireland. He landed in the townland of Moveen, at the edge of the ocean in West Clare, outside the thatched cottage that his great-grandfather had left late in the nineteenth century with a one-way ticket to America. Tommy and Nora Lynch, Thomas Lynch's elderly, unmarried, distant cousins welcomed the young American 'home'. In the words of the author, 'it changed my life'.
Booking Passage is part travelogue, part cultural study, part memoir and elegy, part guidebook for what Lynch calls 'fellow pilgrims' working their way through their own and the larger histories. It is a magnificent hymn of praise to Ireland.
A curious and engaging series of pieces which retain a personal and historical flavour...while he is excellent on Irish history and the immigrant experience
By turns diverting, evocative and provocative, Booking Passage gets to grips with all the muddle and multiplicity of its author's lifelong concerns. It does so, to our enjoyment, in a spirit of discernment and delight'
Heartfelt and artfully expressed
There are some beautiful observations about what it means to embrace a new culture, while holding on to, and romanticising, an old one...[with] lyrical and moving descriptions of Ireland, Irishness and the linguistic consequences of American cultural imperialism
Profound, funny and immensely moving