The Blackwater Lightship

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The Blackwater Lightship
The Blackwater Litghtship.jpg
First edition cover
Author Colm Tóibín
Cover artist Mary Lohan
Country Ireland
Language English
Genre Novel
Publisher Picador
Publication date
1999
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 273 pp (first edition hardcover)
ISBN 0-684-87389-3
OCLC 43333551
823/.914 21
LC Class PR6070.O455 B57 2000

The Blackwater Lightship is a 1999 novel written by Irish novelist Colm Tóibín, and was short-listed for the Booker Prize.

Plot summary[edit]

The story is described from the viewpoint of Helen, a successful school principal living with her husband and two children in Ireland. She learns one day, that her brother Declan, who is homosexual, has been a sufferer of AIDS for years, and refused to tell her until then. He asks her to deliver their mother and grandmother the news. This presents a challenge to Helen as she has had minimal contact with either woman due to deeply buried conflicts relating to Helen's past and her father's sudden death when she was a child.

As the three women meet again they are forced to overcome these struggles for Declan's sake. The novel follows the painful journey they must take in order to correct the misunderstanding that exists between them.

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations[edit]

Further information: The Blackwater Lightship (film)

The novel was made into a film and aired on CBS as a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation. Angela Lansbury received an Emmy nomination for it in 2004. It also stars Gina McKee, Sam Robards, Dianne Wiest, and Keith McErlean; and was directed by John Erman.

External links[edit]