Literature Ireland
© Chatto & Windus, 2006

© Chatto & Windus, 2006

The Free and Easy

Anne Haverty

A wealthy American is burdened by a recurrent dream about his native Ireland, a country that had long ceased to interest or trouble him. Convinced that the Irish are asking him for help, he equips his errant grand-nephew, Tom Blessman, with a generous bank account, and dispatches him to the old country to offer assistance. In Dublin, Tom is bewildered to find a city thronged with glossy, happening people and an economy in overdrive. As Tom attempts to make sense of it all - and to resolve his own personal history - he falls in with a fascinating gallery of characters, some of them super-rich, some trying to make their way in this opportunistic new world, and others pinning their hopes and ambitions to art, literature and 'heritage projects'. Teeming with brilliant characters, clamourous with the life of Dublin's pubs and cafés, and the atmosphere of its streets, The Free And Easy is an entertaining and mordant take on Ireland past and present.

Chatto & Windus 2006

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