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Haven
Haven | Emma Donoghue
21 posts | 16 read | 31 to read
Three men vow to leave the world behind them. They set out in a small boat for an island their leader has seen in a dream, with only faith to guide them. What they find is the extraordinary island now known as Skellig Michael. Haven, Emma Donoghues deeply researched new novel, has her trademark psychological intensitybut this story is like nothing she has ever written before. In seventh-century Ireland, a scholar and priest called Artt has a dream telling him to leave the sinful world behind. Taking two monksyoung Trian and old Cormache rows down the river Shannon in search of an isolated spot on which to found a monastery. Drifting out into the Atlantic, the three men find an impossibly steep, bare island inhabited by tens of thousands of birds, and claim it for God. In such a place, what will survival mean?
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review
squirrelbrain
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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Pickpick

This is a strange book to review; the premise didn‘t sound like my thing at all; monks in 7th century Ireland who sequester themselves away on a remote, uninhabited island. However, I found it oddly compelling and kept picking it up over my other ongoing books.

It‘s slow and quietly troubling, and beautifully written. I can see though why some people wouldn‘t like it, as it‘s so unusual with a narrow focus and storyline.

#tob longlist

sarahbarnes Great review! I am curious about this one. I‘ve never actually read any of her books. 2w
Ruthiella Sounds great! I‘ve only read three books from Donoghue, but they were very different from one another: Room, Slammerkin, and 2w
BarbaraBB I liked the two books I read by her. You make me curious to read this one too! 2w
See All 20 Comments
Tamra Great review! It is compelling! 2w
MicheleinPhilly @sarahbarnes @Ruthiella @BarbaraBB Honestly, that is what I love about her - she writes books that are so different from one another and are in completely different genres. She is just remarkable. 2w
Cinfhen I listened to the audio a few weeks ago and while I agree it was compelling it was also a bit too monotonous and too dark for me. 2w
Cathythoughts Wonderful review. ♥️ 2w
Cathythoughts I‘d stack , but because of your review, and @Tamra … I have already purchased. Will read as soon as I finish my current book. 2w
youneverarrived I‘m looking forward to reading this one 2w
squirrelbrain @sarahbarnes @Ruthiella @BarbaraBB @MicheleinPhilly - I‘ve only read Room before now, but now I‘m keen to try more, and now of course I have this one, following @Cathythoughts review earlier this week. 2w
squirrelbrain @Cinfhen I didn‘t find it monotonous, but maybe because it was short. It may have become so if it had been any longer. 2w
squirrelbrain @Tamra - it‘s a story that could sit in any era really isn‘t it? 2w
squirrelbrain I hope you enjoy it when you get to it! @youneverarrived 2w
Cinfhen I‘m glad you enjoyed it 😁 2w
BarbaraBB I enjoyed The Wonder too, like @Cathythoughts , a bit unexpectedly. So I think @MicheleinPhilly is right and I should just read this! 2w
Tamra @Cathythoughts 👏🏾 2w
Tamra @squirrelbrain so true. Great observation! 2w
sarahbarnes @squirrelbrain I‘ll give this one a try to start! Thanks for your review! 2w
batsy I like that: "quietly troubling"—there was always that sense of unease underneath. I really liked this one! 2w
87 likes4 stack adds20 comments
review
Tamra
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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Pickpick

I loved this story! 5🌟

It‘s primarily character development of three very different persons and their relationships with one another & their God. It‘s about religious fanaticism, loyalty, friendship, obedience, survival, dignity, etc. All the big important stuff of human existence.

I am so impressed with the diversity of Donaghue‘s writing! She‘s an auto buy/read for me.

The narration is fantastic for the audio edition. 🎙️

batsy Glad that you enjoyed it! 🙂 1mo
Tamra @batsy I see you liked it too! 💙 1mo
JamieArc I saw a description of this book the other day and it intrigued me. Glad to see this review. Time to stack it 😊 1mo
See All 8 Comments
Tamra @JamieArc it‘s not for everyone, but it was right up my alley. Definitely not action/plot driven. I hope you enjoy it! (edited) 1mo
JamieArc @Tamra I appreciate slow prose and am a contemplative person with a small obsession for Ireland, so this feels right up my alley 1mo
Tamra @JamieArc perfect fit! 1mo
jlhammar This is in my TBR stack for next month. Can't wait! 4w
Tamra @jlhammar woot! 4w
56 likes5 stack adds8 comments
blurb
Teresereading
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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Oh wow! Feeling spoilt, got home from work, sick cat and had to madly do my tax return. Such fun to remember that my #HHS package was waiting for me. Thanks so much @Lizpixie @wanderinglynn
#HHS2022

Lizpixie Did you like the Hocus Pocus theme? I couldn‘t remember if you were a cat person so I‘m so glad you are! Are the books right? 1mo
Teresereading Lovely thank you, I love the bag 1mo
Teresereading Books are excellent 1mo
wanderinglynn Love the tote bag! 🎃 1mo
27 likes4 comments
review
kbuggle
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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Bailedbailed

The writing was interesting, but I never wanted to pick it up.. I bailed at 35pgs. Maybe I‘ll visit it again another time.
Really trying to only stick with books that I want to keep picking up & don‘t want to put down, instead of forcing myself to barrel through.

review
Cinfhen
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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Mehso-so

Three monks set out on a canoe in search of an uncharted island where they can seek refuge from the sinful world and build a haven for those who wish to serve God and God alone. But what they pledge to create and uphold will prove more difficult than any would imagine. While the writing was evocative, this story was bleak and monotonous. This isn‘t a book I‘d easily recommend.

squirrelbrain I was unsure about this one; your review makes me a bit more sure that I *don‘t* want to read it. 3mo
Cinfhen It was so slow @squirrelbrain but I‘d still say maybe #BorrowNotBuy if you‘re on the fence 3mo
TrishB I so disliked the Wonder I probably won‘t read this. 3mo
See All 7 Comments
Cinfhen If you disliked The Wonder I don‘t think you‘ll care for this one @TrishB 3mo
Lizpixie I wasn‘t a huge fan of The Wonder either. Too miserable for me. 3mo
Cinfhen Emma Donoghue does write really bleak books @Lizpixie I‘m still traumatized from 3mo
Lizpixie My life‘s bleak enough, I don‘t need to read it as well! Though some of the crime I read is pretty bleak. What does that say about me?🤔 3mo
75 likes1 stack add7 comments
blurb
Cinfhen
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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My first full day back home and I was craving my beloved toast salad… it‘s scrumptious 😋 still making my way through this audiobook- having just finished the Maggie O‘ Farrell ( review coming) and absolutely LOVING it, I‘m finding it harder to engage with this historical fiction by Emma Donoghue. Both books are richly atmospheric and heavily descriptive but the O‘Farrell was simply stunning.

LeahBergen That looks amazing! 3mo
TrishB I‘m so looking forward to the O‘Farrell 😁 and I‘ve no idea what‘s in that toast salad but it looks gorgeous. 3mo
Cinfhen Well…since you asked @TrishB @LeahBergen Israeli toast is made by pressing and toasting a fluffy, sesame seed-covered thin bagel that's split and filled with cheese and veggies. The salad is cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, hearts of palm, olives, with shredded cheese, za'atar and pumpkin seeds. And the dressing is a light lemon/ mint vinaigrette. It‘s SO YUM!!! 3mo
See All 16 Comments
jlhammar That salad looks divine! Great to hear about the O‘Farrell. Look forward to your review! 3mo
rockpools I didn‘t know that toast salad was a thing. This may just be life-changing! It looks amazing! Welcome home 😊 3mo
Cinfhen It‘s DEFINITELY a thing @rockpools !!! Thanks for the warm welcome home ✈️💕 Divine is a GREAT description @jlhammar and the O‘Farrell was just as wonderful/ definitely go audio❣️🎧 3mo
TrishB Sounds lovely 😁 3mo
LeahBergen Now I REALLY want to try it! 3mo
CoffeeAndABook 😋😋😋 that sounds and looks SO GOOD!! 🤩 😘 3mo
BarbaraBB That salad looks delicious, lovely ingredients too. Can‘t wait for your review of the O‘Farrell, so glad you loved it! 3mo
Deblovestoread Your salad looks and sounds AMAZING. And I am glad you loved the book. My copy should arrive any day now. 3mo
CarolynM Yum! That looks delicious. Sounds like you have proper book hangover🤣 3mo
squirrelbrain Your salad sounds amazing… also can‘t wait for your review of The Marriage Portrait. 3mo
Chelsea.Poole Yum 🤤 3mo
Centique That looks divine! 3mo
BookBabe 😋 3mo
84 likes16 comments
review
Twocougs
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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Pickpick

Three monks, an island off the coast of Ireland…

34 likes1 stack add
review
rmaclean4
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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Pickpick

A fast read/listen. A compelling story of three radical monks in Ireland that sequester themselves on a remote island. A testiment to the writing that this was such an engrossing read. 3.5 🌟

review
Jeg
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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Bailedbailed

Could not get into this. I‘m just not a historical fiction fan. Would love to give it to someone who would enjoy it. Love to hear if and when anyone reading this does read it. I heard her on the radio and loved her book Room. So thought I‘d give this a go. Just not my thing .

Teresereading I heard her on the radio also, loved the sound of it 3mo
Jeg @Teresereading yes, I loved the sound of the book too when I heard her. Im thinking I maybe should have read the blurb before I got it. 😏 3mo
Suet624 Sadly, I‘ve become increasingly disappointed in her books. 3mo
11 likes1 stack add3 comments
review
batsy
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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Pickpick

A spare, quiet novel set in 7th-century Ireland, where a scholar & priest & self-styled saint takes two monks with him—young Trian & elderly Cormac—to set up a monastery in isolation after a dream that he takes as a sign to renounce the world. The book casts a slow but eerie spell. The natural world of the island, the suffering of the monks, & the increasing despotism of the priest brings to the surface questions of faith, fellowship, & existence.

batsy This is a mood novel, & one where the plot builds up slowly & menacingly. It rewards patience. I found it moving & thoughtful, because it's essentially a novel of mental imprisonment—the question being the multiple ways in which imprisonment is self-inflicted, especially in obeisance to authority. "Life is the weightiest of gifts," young Trian says. Listening to Loreena McKennitt's "Skellig" while reading this made it a meditative experience. 3mo
squirrelbrain I‘ve been in two minds about this but your review really makes me want to read it. 3mo
Tamra I am so anxious to read this one! 3mo
See All 15 Comments
batsy @squirrelbrain @Tamra I hope you both enjoy it! Fair warning that a lot of reviews on GR found it boring 😅 It's why I think it depends on one's mood, to a certain extent. 3mo
Tamra @batsy that doesn‘t put me off. I like spare, quiet, understated…..☺️ 3mo
batsy @Tamra You and me both! 🙂 3mo
Ruthiella Emma Donoghue is such an interesting writer. You can‘t pigeonhole her at all. (edited) 3mo
batsy @Ruthiella Yes! I'm glad I've got quite a few more of hers to read. 3mo
Tamra @batsy if I recall correctly, I‘ve enjoyed each of her novels I‘ve read, so she is one of those authors on my radar. 3mo
batsy @Tamra Me too! I actually liked Room the least, which feels like a hugely unpopular opinion. But I've enjoyed all the rest that I've read, which were mostly historical novels and short story collections. 3mo
Tamra @batsy agreed about Room! 3mo
jlhammar Now I'm even more excited to start this! 3mo
batsy @jlhammar I hope you like it! 3mo
Suet624 I haven‘t enjoyed her later books but this one, because of your review, really piques my interest. 3mo
batsy @Suet624 Another tough one to recommend! 😂 It depends on how you find the first couple of chapters—it pretty much sets the tone. 3mo
81 likes7 stack adds15 comments
review
Hooked_on_books
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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Pickpick

Three Irish monks depart on a journey to find an austere island seen in the vision of one. As they try to make their way once they find it, their differing approaches start to show. I‘m not big on religion, so I hesitated about this one, but it‘s Emma Donoghue, so I figured she had something up her sleeve. I found this engrossing and the ending satisfying.

jlhammar Can't wait to start this one! 3mo
42 likes1 comment
review
Lindy
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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Pickpick

Queer, nature writing, survival story & historical fiction based on fact—three men start a monastery on a bird-inhabited rock in the sea off the west coast of Ireland in the year 600. What I appreciate most about this quiet novel is the way Donoghue explores attitudes towards women, human relationships with nature, power dynamics, and the questioning of religious faith. #ShadowGiller2022 #CanLit

Soubhiville I‘m very much looking forward to this one! Great review. 3mo
jlhammar Can't wait to start this one! Love Donoghue. 3mo
batsy Nice review 💙 I'm looking forward to this. 3mo
See All 6 Comments
AmyG @Soubhiville Me, too. Her books are so atmospheric for lack of another word. I can always sort of “feel” the place and period. 3mo
Soubhiville @AmyG that‘s great way to describe them. 😊 3mo
Lindy @Soubhiville @AmyG @jlhammar @batsy Thanks, friends. Amy, I agree that Donoghue is good at creating atmosphere. 3mo
38 likes3 stack adds6 comments
quote
Lindy
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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Cormac knows all living things are simply part of God‘s creation, but birds still give him the odd shiver.

KateReadsYA Same. 3mo
30 likes2 comments
quote
Lindy
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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The wisest Church Fathers, and the ancients before them, all agree that a woman is a botched man, created only for childbearing.

DivineDiana 😲 3mo
28 likes1 comment
quote
Lindy
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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He mutters a prayer in Latin: ‘Against the spells of druids and blacksmiths and women, I summon your aid.‘

31 likes1 stack add
review
Mpcacher
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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Pickpick

This is not your typical historical fiction. It is a strange tale, that I warmed up to and ended up really liking. It is a story of survival but also slowly becomes one of a test of faith in God and the characters own judgement of right and wrong. While I have never been to Skellig Michael, I did visit the Skellig Experience Centre on the nearby mainland in Ireland and the actual history of the place, like this book, is fascinating. 4/5 stars.

blurb
jlhammar
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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Had a lovely lunch break today browsing books. I went to get a birthday gift for my niece, but you know how it goes. First stop was Half Price Books where I found the Rendell (inspired by @Cathythoughts recent posts) and the gently used copy of Nightcrawling for #Booker2022. Then grabbed the new Donoghue from our neighborhood indie. I love her and the premise is very appealing to me. 7th Century Ireland? A monastery? Yes and yes!
#bookhaul

ShelleyBooksie Great haul! 3mo
quirkyreader The Rendell one is a very good story. 3mo
jlhammar @quirkyreader That is great to hear. It will be my first Rendell! Very excited. 3mo
jlhammar @ShelleyBooksie Thanks! Now I just need more reading time. My August has been way too busy! 3mo
batsy I enjoy Donoghue as well and the description of Haven is right up my street! 3mo
50 likes1 stack add5 comments
review
Penny_LiteraryHoarders
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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Panpan

I‘ll be terribly annoyed if I see this in the Giller Longlist. I was bored silly reading it. #ShadowGiller @Lindy

Cortg ED was on NPR talking about this book. I‘ve read two of hers and didn‘t care for either. Thanks for letting me know I won‘t miss much by passing on this one 😊 3mo
Penny_LiteraryHoarders @Cortg I don‘t think you will!! Dry and dusty! 🥱🥱💤 3mo
Tamra Oh that‘s too bad! I‘ve really enjoyed her other novels. 3mo
See All 10 Comments
Penny_LiteraryHoarders @Tamra ☹️ I have so many marked to read, but this was the first I read of hers! I will try the others. 3mo
Tamra @Penny_LiteraryHoarders I hope it‘s a fluke! 🤞🏾 3mo
Lindy @Tamra @Penny_LiteraryHoarders I liked Haven. It‘s a quiet novel, but I didn‘t find it dry. I think a person needs to be in the mood for nature writing and an exploration of religious power dynamics. 3mo
Tamra @Lindy good to know - sounds right up my alley! 3mo
Penny_LiteraryHoarders @Lindy I love quiet novels, but this one (clearly) didn‘t do it for me. 🤗 3mo
Lindy We are having very different experiences with the Giller possibilities, aren‘t we? I couldn‘t finish Martha Batiz‘s collection because I disliked her writing style so much. 3mo
Penny_LiteraryHoarders @Lindy oh no! 😆😆 well the surprises awaiting us will be highly anticipated won‘t they??? 3mo
22 likes10 comments
blurb
Kappadeemom
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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My new ARC

27 likes1 stack add
blurb
swishandflick
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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Started the day with a Goodreads win! 👌🏽

MicheleinPhilly 😮 So jealous! 6mo
TheKidUpstairs I'm so excited for this book! Congrats, what a great win to start the day! 6mo
vlwelser 😍😍😍 I love this author 6mo
See All 7 Comments
AmyG Nice!!!!! 🎉 6mo
TracyReadsBooks Yay!!! That‘s an awesome way to start your day! 6mo
jlhammar Great win! Love Emma Donoghue. 6mo
Tamra Want to read! 6mo
84 likes2 stack adds7 comments
review
Addison_Reads
Haven | Emma Donoghue
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Mehso-so

#NetGalley

Room by Emma Donoghue is a favorite of mine. Her other books have all had beautiful settings, great characters, but they've all just left me a little disappointed since Room.

This story of three monks who isolate themselves on an island explores just how far people are willing to go based on their faith alone. There's a big reveal at the end that felt out of place to the rest of the book too.