The River Capture review: Portrait of an individual at the confluence of past and present

A former teacher finds himself in uncharted waters after leaving behind his cosmopolitan life

A river capture, as our protagonist explains in the concluding chapter of this novel, is “when a river erodes the land and acquires the flow from another river or drainage system, usually below it, the first river is said to have captured the second in an act of piracy. The waters of the captured river are usurped by the captor and, at this point, the two become one.”

In the second novel by the critically acclaimed writer Mary Costello, Luke O’Brien is a former teacher who has left Dublin after a failed relationship to live a solitary life on his family land on the bend of the river Sullane. Now he whiles away his time by reminiscing about his family’s heyday and dwells on his happiest year in Dublin when he had a steady career and a relationship.

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