Synopsis (from Amazon)
Following the end of the First World War, Eneas McNulty joins the British-led Royal Irish Constabulary. With all those around him becoming soldiers of a different kind, however, it proves to be the defining decision of his life when, having witnessed the murder of a fellow RIC policeman, he is wrongly accused of identifying the executioners. With a sentence of death passed over him he is forced to flee Sligo, his friends, family and beloved girl, Viv. What follows is the story of this flight, his subsequent wanderings, and the haunting pull of home that always afflicts him. Tender, witty, troubling and tragic, The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty tells the secret history of a lost man.
I really enjoyed The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry and the small mentions of Eneas McNulty within that story had me intregued. When I found out that there was a book about Eneas I was quite excited to read it. Unfortunately I found The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty didn’t meet up to my expectations. It didn’t have half the draw of The Secret Scripture and even the parts that I did find interesting were far too brief. There were enough interesting bits to keep me going right to the end of the book but by the end I was mainly just waiting to finish the story. There were many elements that could have been exciting or moving but they just didn’t quite meet up. I did find some sections moving but they were over all too briefly.
I found the writing a little inconsistent, at the beginning it was written as if Eneas himself was speaking- although it was written in the third person, it was a pretty stereotypical Irish voice, but after a while it became less Irish and it seemed less like it was Eneas speaking.
I still found the bits about Roseanne (the protagonist of The Secret Scripture) intriguing, so I might have been somewhat interested in reading The Secret Scripture if I had read The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty first but I think based on my enjoyment of this book I wouldn’t have actually read it.