Troubles by J.G. Farrell

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Major Brendan Archer travels to Ireland, to the Majestic Hotel and to the fiancée he acquired on a rash afternoon leave three years ago. Despite her many letters, the lady proves herself elusive, and the Major's engagement short-lived. But he is unable to detach himself from the alluring discomforts of the crumbling hotel. Ensconced in the dim and shabby splendour of the Palm Court, surrounded by gently decaying old ladies and proliferating cats, the Major passes the summer. So hypnotic are the fading charms of the Majestic, the Major is almost unaware of the gathering storm. But this is Ireland in 1919--and the struggle for independence is about to explode with brutal force.

Orion Publishing: 1993.
ISBN: 9781857990188. 446 pp.
Softcover. Very good.