Tuesday, June 29, 2021

NBTM Virtual Book Tour + Review + #Giveaway: A Country Of Eternal Light by Darby Harn @DarbyHarn @GoddessFish


A Country Of Eternal Light

by Darby Harn

GENRE: Speculative Fiction


"One of the most beautiful books I've ever read" - Sunyi Dean, author of The Book Eaters

A rogue black hole tears apart the solar system. Mairead’s life is already in pieces.

The Earth has less than a year to survive.

Asteroids rain hell; earthquakes rattle cities; manic tides swamp coasts. Mairead intends to give herself to the erratic waves that erode her remote Irish island, the same that claimed her child. When Gavin, an American, arrives to scatter his father’s ashes, she becomes torn between wanting for life and death.

Despite the tides, fuel shortages, and closing borders that threaten to trap him on the island, Gavin can’t seem to scatter the ashes. He doesn’t know how to let go any more than Mairead does and they find a strange comfort in their confusion.

Their affair draws Mairead back to the world of the living, but the longer Gavin stays, the more it seems there might be a future for them. There is no future.

Life closes down around them. The world they know shreds. Life drains into an inescapable abyss. And yet Mairead fights, both the gravity of her grief and the restless, dissonant desire to find some kind of peace no matter how brief.


Here?” I say.

Gavin and I inch down grass carpeted limestone steps from the buckled road to a strand the sea exposed. This is foolish of us but then this is our fashion so we go on, being fools, further out into the moonscape the retreating sea exposed. Crabs skulk through the seaweed. The rock slick. The seals beach hundreds of yards off shore and we just keep going, skipping from one pink stained stone to the next, like playing hopscotch with no end.

Do I want it to end?

A rogue wave could come in. I could slip on a rock and brain myself. He could. Could I? Could I slip, right now, and pull him with me? I squeeze his hand. He squeezes back. He’s got me. I pull and then he’s done; he guides me to a flat bit of rock and we sit, where people have not sat or stood since there was ice covering the world.  

His hand touches his coat pocket. “Maybe.”

For a long time we watch the seals sleep. They rest their hairy chins just over the water. How tired they must be, spending all night in the turbulent sea. How sad they must be, to fight this war with the water every single day. How angry they must be. Who do they blame.  

Do they know.

Gavin holds the pill bottle in his hands. The current surging through him to twist off the cap. The strain on his face. The trap he’s set for himself. It’s like giving up the drink. You want to. You just can’t. It’s nothing to do with wanting. You’ve no control over it.  

He can’t let go.


My Review:

A Country of Eternal Light tells Mairead’s story when a black hole tears apart the solar system and leaves Earth in turmoil as Asteroids rain down and earthquakes tear up the Earth. Mairead knows the end is near for her and everyone else on Earth. She is torn between trying to survive or just letting the ocean take her as it did her son.

A Country of Eternal Light is a story that tore at my heart as I followed Mairead on her faithful journey. Mairead tore my heart to pieces as I felt as if I was inside her head as she searched her soul for the answers she needs to make her choice to live or die.

Like everyone else on the island, she seemed to be losing her mind slowly. But I also felt like what I saw in Mairead’s mind would or could be very similar to what would or maybe on anyone’s mind if they thought it was the end for them or maybe Mairead’s story in A Country of Eternal Light is how most people’s mind goes through when the end is near for them when their time comes whether it be of old age or the end of the world.

A Country of Eternal Light is a story of grief and sadness and how it affected one woman as the world around her was being destroyed. Mairead is one tough cookie and is looking for a little peace of mind for her sadness to disappear for just a little while. Mairead is just looking for a little light to shine down on her to give her a little peace so her heart won't be so dark with sadness.

Interview with Darby Harn

What made you want to become a writer?

I don’t know if there was a reason behind wanting to become a writer. I was just always writing, or certainly imagining, in a creative sense. I know I wanted to make movies like Star Wars and comic books like X-Men when I was very young, five or so. The decision to commit to writing as a potential career was very conscious, and that happened somewhere in my teens, when I began actively trying to learn how do I go about this? And that led me to the University of Iowa and Trinity College, through the Irish Writing Program.

What inspired you to write A Country Of Eternal Light?

It was the intersection of a few different ideas. One was this idea for a story, maybe a screenplay at one point, about a black hole winding its way toward Earth. And then later, after my father had died, I had done some non-fiction as a way to try and process that. That was unsuccessful. My life had become very paralytic. I was deeply unhappy, and I left my job. I left the States for Ireland and I spent a fair time there. My experience living in Ireland, coupled with those other ideas swirling in my head, all somehow led to this.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in A Country Of Eternal Light?

The main character is Mairead. It’s her story. She is a 27 year-old woman living on a fictional island near the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. Her son has died and she is struggling. What’s the point? Why go through this last year or so of living when everything is crumbling anyway? Into her life comes Gavin, an American who has come to Inishèan to scatter his father’s ashes. Really what he’s looking for is a way to deflect or defer his grief and in Mairead he finds a very good way to do it. But what they really find in each other is some solace and comfort, even for just a moment.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

I have so many. I don’t know I have a particular favorite. Writing and living in Ireland, I thought a lot about James Joyce. Seamus Heaney. Edna O’Brien. Medbh McGuckian’s poetry.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?

I’m currently writing book four in my Eververse series, which is a literary take on the idea of superheroes. Publisher’s Weekly said of the first book, Ever The Hero, “Harn’s entertaining debut uses super powers as a metaphor to delve into class politics in an alternate America.” Book three, Nothing Ever Ends, will be out this fall.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I love Ireland, I love the Irish language and the people. This book allowed me to live among them in a way for longer than I ever expected.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Darby Harn studied at Trinity College, in Dublin, Ireland, as part of the Irish Writing Program. He is the author of the sci-fi superhero novel EVER THE HERO. His short fiction appears in Strange Horizons, Interzone, Shimmer, The Coffin Bell and other venues.

Website ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Buy Link:



$25 Amazon/BN GC

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Rita Wray said...

Thank you for the review.

Darby said...

Thank you for hosting! Such a lovely review, thank you!

Sherry said...

This sounds like a very good book.