cover image of the leaves on grey

Desmond Hogan’s The Leaves on Grey took me by surprise. His writing is simply not simple, not like so much fiction writing out there. A true novelist. He writes with such a powerful intoxicating vulnerability and with an open-tap flow of prose and poetry that you are transported deep into the narrative itself. The story of Sean and Liam begins in the 1940’s and flows on through the years until the 1970’s. I would be corrupting the story if I tried to expound on it here. The intertwining of their lives and loves are beautifully crafted by Desmond Hogan, and I found myself thinking this is a memoir not a novel. Hogan refers from time to time to stained glass windows. To steal his metaphor, this novel is like a light shining through the stained glass of the character’s lives, revealing their innocence, their lost-ness, their shattered-ness, and their search for love, meaning and belonging. I could not put the book down and read on to the last page.

This book was first published in 1980 and deserves to be back in print and available to a new audience.

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