BEYOND THE HORIZON - Eoin Lane
June 23, 2020
Ireland, starting in 1951
Six-year Colin Larkin is playing on the ocean's beach with his father, Jim. The waves surge and retreat on the shore. Eileen, Colin's mother is there, too, watching them race into the water before she prepares a picnic lunch. Her three older children are climbing the hills behind them. She looks up at the water again. She can't see her Jim or her son. Running to the water's edge she finds Colin and saves him, but not Jim. His body washes to shore days later and miles down the shoreline. Colin doesn't speak again for a long time. When he does and returns to school, he becomes interested in art, drawing water scenes and the effects of light.
Throughout art school, he is best friends with fellow student Michael. Their Instructor, Stanley Fitzgerald, is a tough and blunt advisor telling Colin painting is about more than what can be seen. It is “something spiritual, something intangible.” Colin meets another odd mentor, Adeline Bell, an older woman who will also encourage his painting. At the end of the three-years of schooling, Colin's paintings of light, water, and mist on the far northern island of Inishtrahull earn acclaim at the final exhibit. Michael shows up with his girlfriend Aisling. Throughout the years the relationship between the three of them will change in dramatic ways.
In BEYOND THE HORIZON, author Eoin Lane creates a very lyrical novel about life through ever-changing scenes switching from present to past and back, like waves of water flowing in and then receding. Colin's paintings are like metaphors for this change throughout the story. Viewpoints shift between characters, but all are centered on Colin like waves crashing over an island.
I found the story a little difficult to follow at first, but the awful event of his father's death kept me reading until I became enmeshed in Colin's life. It is an unusual story filled with emotion and an excellent read.