Bernard MacLaverty: Lamb

(840 words)

The first chapter of Lamb takes place in a reform school for young boys situated in a remote part of western Ireland. The Home, as it is called, is run by a religious order of brothers, headed by Brother Benedict, a tyrannical disciplinarian who revels in his clerical power. In his opening conversation with the younger, more compassionate Brother Sebastian, Benedict shows himself to be an uncompromising supporter of the actions of militant republicans in Northern Ireland: “They are angry men of vision, Brother, and by God their anger is justified. Ireland has not much longer to suffer. Her misery will soon be over and we’ll be a united country again.” Such hardline irredentism contrasts starkly with Sebastian’s…

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Harte, Liam. "Lamb". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 March 2001
[, accessed 28 November 2015.]