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Haven  By  cover art

Haven

By: Emma Donoghue
Narrated by: Aidan Kelly
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Publisher's Summary

In this beautiful story of adventure and survival from the New York Times bestselling author of Room, three men vow to leave the world behind them as they set out in a small boat for an island their leader has seen in a dream, with only faith to guide them.

In seventh-century Ireland, a scholar and priest called Artt has a dream telling him to leave the sinful world behind. Taking two monks—young Trian and old Cormac—he 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?

©2022 Emma Donoghue (P)2022 Little, Brown & Company

Critic Reviews

“Told with the clarity of a fable, Haven transports us into territories unknown, where ‘fog makes an island of every man.’ Donoghue’s men of the cloth confront challenges that rattle not only their faith in God, but their faith in each other and in the natural world. This is a patient, thoughtful novel with much to say about spirituality, hope, and human failure, and about the miracle of mercy.” (Esi Edugyan, Giller Prize-winning author of Washington Black)

Haven is a beautiful and timely novel about isolation, passion and the conflict between obedience and self-preservation. The island setting and the characters stayed with me long after I finished reading.” (Sarah Moss, author of Summerwater)

What listeners say about Haven

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Captivating story of 7th-century monks

Why I love stories about monks and monasteries I do not really know, but I do love them, and Haven is a wonderful one. On the surface, it is the tale of three monks who turn their backs against profligate human society and establish a lonely, hungry, new order on a rocky island. Dig a bit deeper, and you will find the book questioning Christianity’s fundamental assumptions about humans’ place in the natural world and the lengths to which folks will go to show they are worthy of God’s love.

2 people found this helpful

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so bored!

admittedly I had high expectations because Room is a psychological treasure.

but Haven is so boring. the conflict is simply a man in a dictator-like leadership role and a couple of others that just want to please.

the narrator is decent. that's about all the good I can say

1 person found this helpful

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a fascinating story

I found this book to be a treasure. I love books that introduce me to a place and a life I never imagined, and the world of these monks was unlike any other. The words, and the skilled reading of them, drew me into a life that made my COVID isolation pale in comparison. it has been a valued companion.

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if only...

If only the central character was likeable instead of being an insufferable bore who dispenses mosaic imperatives and apocalyptic utterances in lieu of ordinary speech. I wouldn't follow him to the Ritz Carlton on Maui

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A haunting book that will stay with a reader for sometime

Emma John Hughes Haven crept into my dreams. I fell in love with the brothers, especially Cormac and Trillan. Because I am visually impaired, I listened to the book. The reader was marvelous on audio.com.

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Unrealistic

Sloppy patterns of speech. Some phrases didn’t fit the timeline of the story. Pretty unrealistic. While I have no doubt there were strict clerics, it was rather unbelievable they would make their followers have no shelter or sustainable food.