Four Letters of Love

Four Letters of Love

A Novel

Book - 1997
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Wiliam Coughlan abandons his wife and his son to paint the pictures he believes God has commanded. He disappears into the west of Ireland on a mission, following a prompting that may or may not have been real to daub the canvas and stare at the Atlantic light.

On an island off the west coast, a boy gifted in music falls mute and lame while playing with his sister. It is a moment that scars the heart of Isabel Gore, as she helps her brother Sean home across the island to meet the disbelief and sorrow of her parents.

Two moments, two stories, each apparently as random and uncertain as the other. Four Letters of Love brings them together in a lyrical effusion of bracing freshness and power. This is a novel about destiny, acceptance, the tragedies and miracles of everyday life, and about how all our stories meet in the end.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1997
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780374158170
Branch Call Number: F Wil


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Sep 19, 2014

Unique story. Beautiful writer.

melwyk May 01, 2012

Here's the storyline: Isabel and Nicholas live separate lives in Ireland. Nicholas is an only child whose dysfunctional family includes a father who thinks he is called by God to wander the countrysides and paint and a mother who locks herself in her room once her husband disappears. Isabel is an Island girl, a clever one, and heads to school on the mainland once she outgrows the small island school run by her father. Their two stories run parallel and then finally meet as Nicholas decides to reclaim his father's one painting still known to be in existence, a painting that was given as a prize in a poetry contest that had been won by Isabel's father.

If you like dreamy, meandering Irish novels with eccentric characters you might like this. It all felt a little too suffocating for me. It just wasn't the book for me at this time. Everyone else -- and I mean everyone -- seems to love it, so don't trust my opinion... you'll have to try this one for yourself and see what you think.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at PPL

To Top