Patchett, Ann

| 2007

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14


It is just a few weeks after Christmas, and the unforgiving New England weather has taken a turn for the worse. Doyle has dragged his reluctant young sons - adopted sons, as his pale Irish colouring contrasted with their black skin makes obvious - to a speech by Jesse Jackson. Though his own political career is over, dealt a fatal blow by a family scandal, Doyle is still fired by Jackson's rhetoric and perplexed by his sons' indifference. The two boys are close enough in age to be taken for twins, but in character they couldn't be more different. Teddy - open, affectionate, the gentle dreamer - thinks he has found his calling in the Catholic Church. The elder by a year, Tip is more serious, reserving his own passionate interest for ichthyology: he is happiest alone in the warmth of the lab with its creaky boiler, labelling and categorising fish specimens with antiquated names, their bodies...

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