Cal Mclusckey is 19. He lives in a village near Ulster in Northern Ireland together with his father Shamie. They are both Catholics. After Cal left school his father gets him a job at the abattoir, but Cal has a weak stomach so he quits the job and be unemployed. Crilly takes over the job, he's an old friends of Cal, and Catholic of course. Cal is very bored because he has no job and he is too lazy to search for a new one. Crilly is a member of the IRA, he persuades Cal to be a member too. Crilly tells him that he can drive a van that will be used for raiding Protestant shops. After some missions Cal has to drive again, but this time someone gets killed, a policeman called Robert Morton. Cal feels very bad about it. He didn't think or didn't wanted to think that his friends were able to kill people. But Cal hasn't got the guts to say no to Crilly so he keeps driving the van for Crilly and Skeffington. Cal's father receives threatens from the Protestants, that they'll burn his house. Cal pretends that he isn't afraid of the threatens, but he knows it will go wrong one day. In the mean time Cal meets Marcella, she works in the library. Cal is in love with her and every time he sees her he falls in love even more. When Cal sells logs to Mrs. Morton they offer him a job on a farm, he takes the job. Cal knows Marcella is living in that farm too. The Morton's are Marcella's in-laws. When Cal goes home he sees a fire on his way back, he knows immediately that it is his house. They are staying at a friend's house that night, his father stays there for a while but Cal goes to an old cottage near the farm to escape from Crilly and Skeffington and be close to Marcella. When the Morton's see a light in the cottage they cal the police, but when Mrs. Morton sees it is Cal she wants him to stay and decorate the cottage so there can be lived in it. Cal and Marcella fall in love with each other. When the Morton's go to the hospital Cal and Marcella send much time together and make love. One thing stings Cal, Marcella doesn't know about Robert Morton and him.
Robert Morton was her husband and Cal was involved with the incident. Shamie is in a bad condition, he gets depressive and doesn't want to work anymore. He has lost al his good memories. When Cal is in the library after he met his father he sees Crilly putting a bomb in a book.
After that incident they go to Crilly's place. The cops arrives at Crilly's, he escapes the house and goes back to the farm where he makes love with Marcella for the last time. In the morning he writes her a letter the letter contents the true feeling for Marcella and the true story about her dead husband. After a couple hours the police arrest Cal, that relives Cal because it is justice for what he has done wrong. Now he can start a whole new life, a good life.
Cal is a 19 year old boy who is addicted to smoking. He lives with his father, his mother died when he is young.
Cal is against fighting and it doesn't matter if you are Catholic or Protestant.
Shamie is the father of and friend of Cal. Shamie likes to work but he becomes depressive at the end.
He's the bad guy in the book he is aggressive and has much hate, he respects the more powerful people And suppresses the less powerful people, like Cal
She is the big love of Cal, her husband was killed by Crilly, Cal was involved. Cal an Marcella are getting together further in the book.
The title is "Cal" so it goes without saying that this book is about Cal, and the way he lives his awful life.
The theme is how love can be stopped because of political reasons and because of a war between 2 religions. But there aren't always bad people, for example Cal and Marcella, they fall in love and they don't really care about religion differences of other people because they are both Catholic. It shows that love is stronger than lies and keeping the truth behind.
Place and time
The story takes place in the middle of a civil war in Northern Ireland in the begin 80's. It is no fun to live there in that time where the story takes place. The atmosphere is very cruel And cold.
What I find interesting is that Cal thinks different than other people and than everybody. All he wants is peace and unity. He respects a kinds of living. I haven't got a most interesting passage in the book, The way how Cal thinks during the story that's the most Interesting for me.
Cal is a boy with his own believes and tries to live his own way. He tries to live his own life in the middle of the war, but it doesn't work out as he wants, of course. I agree on the way Cal tries to live his life. I think the book is a bit short for a story like this. This story has to be longer and more detailed so you can imagine the way everybody is living and not only Cal.
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