As It Is in Heaven by Niall Williams

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Time has already stopped for Stephen Griffin when he moves into the little house by the sea. Twenty-eight years old and haunted by death, the tall, awkward, shy schoolteacher is Content to care for his father in Dublin and let life pass him by.

Then a miracle appears: a string ensemble from Venice and, with it, a violinist named Gabriella Castoldi. Even though the worldly, beautiful musician seems incapable of giving her heart, love seizes Stephen Griffin ... unbidden and shaking every particle of his spirit.

Stephen's ailing father sees it and fears for his naive son. Nelly Grant, the green-grocer, predicted it and welcomes its sheer joy. Moses Mooney, the blind musician, has sensed its coming. None, however, can envision the depth and consequence of this union. For Gabriella will change not only Stephen's life but, in the deepest sense, the lives of everyone around them.

"As It Is In Heaven" evokes the magical essence of romance and its miraculous ability to grace even the darkest lifewith light. Splendidly crafted and charged with poignancy, it firmly establishes Niall Williams as a master storyteller in the grand tradition of Irish literature.

About Niall Williams

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Niall Williams was born in Dublin. He is a playwright and the author of "Four Letters of Love," "As It Is in Heaven," "The Fall of Light," and "Only Say the Word," He lives in County Clare with his wife, Christine, and their two children.
Published August 31, 1999 by Grand Central Publishing. 336 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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An appealing romantic tale about the love of an introverted schoolteacher for a beautiful Italian musician: from the Irish author of several popular nonfiction books as well as the highly praised novel Four Letters of Love (1997).

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Publishers Weekly

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His hero, Stephen Griffin, is a dim young man declining into premature senility as a history teacher, whose life is transformed by the rather improbable arrival of a beautiful but deeply unhappy young Italian violinist, Gabriella Castoldi, to play a concert at a little West Ireland hotel.

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Review Fix

Hymns sung a cappella punctuate the scenes of the play, which ends with a joyful explosion of Shaker singing and ecstatic dance.

May 22 2011 | Read Full Review of As It Is in Heaven

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