Book review: Neil Jordan’s latest sprinkles elements of fairytale with a film maker’s eye for detail

Familiar themes of identity emerge as Ireland’s most successful director returns to his first career as a fiction writer

Neil Jordan is best known for Michael Collins, The Butcher Boy and The Crying Game

A central tension in Neil Jordan’s The Well of Saint Nobody is established in the novel’s opening line: “He had met her three times and three times forgotten all about her.”

The narrator is referring to William, a former internationally renowned concert pianist, and Tara, a 50-something piano teacher with only a few students, struggling to pay the rent on her small West Cork cottage where she lives alone.

New to the area, William, who ...