"Thomas Flanagan, author of The Year of the French and The Tenants of Time, has written an epic of the 20th century. It is set in Ireland at the time of the Troubles, during the watershed year of 1919. World War I has ended and the British are attempting to put down once and for all the centuries-old dream of an independent Ireland." "As before, Flanagan brings to life a wide range of historical figures and fictional characters whose private lives are shaped by the public history that leaves no one untouched. His heroine, Janice Nugent, a member of the Irish Catholic landed gentry, has been living through the war years in London, her young life scarred by the death in 1915 of her soldier husband, an officer in an Irish battalion fighting in France alongside the British. In the winter of 1919, she decides to return to Ireland. In fact, she is going back to her family and their ancient estate in Galway, because she is tired of being one of a generation of war widows, and hopes to find in the serenity of Coolater a way of rebuilding her life. But on the way from Dublin, her train is stopped by I.R.A. gunmen, who take off a civilian passenger and execute him, virtually under Janice's gaze. To a fellow passenger in the first-class carriage she says, "I loathe guns." Yet within the year she will be in love with a man described by newpapers as a gunman. That man is Christopher Blake, a young historian who has put his pen and sophisticated intelligence at the service of Michael Collins and the cause of Irish independence. As they become lovers more deeply and more fatefully than either of them had intended, Blake draws Janice into the searing revolutionary struggle."
"On the pages of this gripping novel, we are transported from the smoky pubs of Dublin, where men argue eloquently but action has the final word, to the Irish countryside, where lonely roads become paths to the grave as fast as a rifle shot; from stately manors, where an ancient way of life is threatened, to the gleaming London conference table, where men like Lloyd George and Winston Churchill play games of power, tainting the triumph of their Irish opponents; through the painful dilemmas and grievous losses of men and women for whom old certainties have been splintered and new sides must be chosen. The End of the Hunt is fiction of a very high order. It brings us face-to-face with history as it was made, and life as it was given and lost."--Jacket.