The tale that unfolds in this thick, satisfying volume is not particularly complex – any more than the circumstances of any of our lives are complex, which is to say, infinitely and infinitesimally so.
Erica Wagner, The Times, London Full Review
The Water Star is, somehow, haunting.
John Kenny, The Irish Times
Casey has brought alive the dilemmas of a lost generation and made them vivid and memorable.
The Good Book Guide
…those fine intense moments – and there are many of them here – show Philip Casey to be a compelling writer.
John Tague, The Times Literary Supplement Full Review
An intelligent, memorable, moving novel.
Arminta Wallace, The Irish Times
This series of love-stories told from individual perspectives resonates with authentic feeling.
Sharon Barnes, IMAGE
The Water Star, volume two of The Bann River Trilogy, was published in hardback by Picador of London, April 27, 1999.
ISBN 0 330 37190 8
Picador paperback published February 4, 2000.
ISBN 0 330 37191 6
The Water Star is available from
The Picador Hardback Description
“He cursed and sat up on the damp rubble. Although in the centre of what had been the building, it was exposed here, where the roof had collapsed through three floors. The rain had stopped and the sky was clearing, and a fresh star blinked at him as a cloud moved away.”
London 1950. Houses seem to rise out from the desecrated landscape, their rooms laid bare in the cold city light. Out of this fractured world people restore their scattered lives: Hugh, desperately lonely and lost in an unfamiliar city, struggles with his memories and with his father, Brendan, whose dreams are founded on the Irish mountain that was their home. Brendan stands in his North London bedsit washing off the dust from the city’s building sites, stubbornly refusing to see his son’s youth and the hope that is offered by Sarah, the Irishwoman who teaches him to read.
Then, it seems, Hugh’s life is overturned. He meets Elizabeth, a woman who has lived through the Blitz and whose nature seems to dissolve the despair that threatens his spirit. And he meets Karl, a German in exile, a man who shares his life with Elizabeth but buries the horrors of his past. Will these terrified lives at last find comfort in the fragile city that surrounds them?
In a narrative that is both lyrical and passionate Philip Casey captures his characters perfectly, shining light on lives rocked by war and loss and on relationships overshadowed by unspoken feelings. The Water Star is an extraordinarily intimate and sensitive exploration of people trapped between their isolation and their hopes.