Praise for Black Inked Pearl: A Rare Work of Genius in Modern Times

Black Inked Pearl: A Girl’s Quest is a magical book of lost love — an epic journey, an ancient mystery reinterpreted, a faerie tale, a parable, a poem, a nightmare, a daydream. The question that constantly comes to mind when reading is: “Can a book be an incantation or a dream?”

Ruth-finnegan-black-inked-pearl-garn-pressBlack Inked Pearl A Girl’s Quest

Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-942146-16-2
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-942146-17-9
eBook ISBN: 978-1-942146-18-6
Hardcover and Paperback: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
eBook: Apple iBooks, Kobo eBooks


Ruth Finnegan is a renowned classical scholar and a writer of great style, imagination, profundity, and wit. At Garn Press we regard Ruth Finnegan’s Black Inked Pearl as a rare work of genius, a novel that is unparalleled in modern times on dream, dementia, and truth. The passions, troubles, torments and griefs running through the novel can be traced back to Homer. Soranzo’s Adamo and Milton’s Paradise Lost are reflected in the text and Shakespeare’s sonnets are ever on the page. James Joyce is also present.

What is gratifying to Garn is that Black Inked Pearl is receiving increasing attention as a literary work unparalleled in recent times. Part narrative, part verse, the reader quickly becomes familiar with the cadence of the story and in next to no time falls in love with Kate.

At Garn we hope you enjoy the novel. It is magical and compelling and a delight to read. But just in case you need verification that Black Inked Pearl is as modern literary work of genius here is a recent review of the novel by E. Lund:

Black Inked Pearl is unlike anything I’ve ever read. It combines the best of classical literature with the highest mechanisms of Modernism. Blending a Strindbergian dreamscape with lush, rural characters, the novel grounds itself in this very paradox— the extraordinarily metaphysical and the beautifully naturalistic crisscross, rubbing against each other as if at a fault-line of profound mystery until, finally, a great tremor erupts: hurling the dynamic world of Black Inked Pearl through the stratosphere— and into a realm of unchartered literary achievement.

Ruth Finnegan, drawing on her skills as a linguist and scholar, develops her narrative through unique language, building her characters out of a network of concomitant archaisms and neologisms, thus placing them in an a-historicity (or perhaps trans-historicity) which allows for a story built on essential truths, unfettered by cardinality or calenderity. With this prowess, the author burns her elusive meanings into the reader’s mind, placing there the shadow of a thought, the ghost of an emotion, forcing the reader into his or her own quest of becoming as s/he struggles to parse together the fragments of ancient genius and modern madness into a single whole— that is, at heart, a simple love story: as told from the very beginning of time. I highly recommend this book; there is nothing else like it.

Here are excerpts from other reviews that you can read on Amazon:

Readers Favorite Reviews (Amazon)

For hearts that have loved and lost, what does it take to reconnect with the love of one’s life? In Black Inked Pearl, Ruth Finnegan leads readers in a quest for love that takes them to places, including archives of heaven, Eden, and Hell. Finnegan’s style is highly poetic and reminiscent of a waking consciousness, a style that plunges the reader into the frame of mind of the protagonist, vacillating between dream and wakefulness. Ruth Finnegan is a gifted writer who knows how to create a dream world for readers, and each line of her lyrical tale seems to open a door to a new dimension. Black Inked Pearl is a symbolic tale, one to be read sitting up; a highly entertaining work laced with humor, wit, and unusual intelligence.

“Old and New Make the Warp and Woof of Every Moment” (Amazon)

Ruth Finnegan. Her novel is at times laugh out loud funny, which is something given the slippery, magical, dream narrative of the novel. But the poly-vocal narrative allows for some fantastic one-liners where (I suspect) the author in her waking state comments on what dreamtime has offered her as the bare bones of her story. I also love how half-homographs are pushed together in an effort to create new/near meaning (petard and lanyard). The narrative is also slippery, it is intentionally so, falling from one place to another and seemingly endlessly extending scenarios so the reader (at least this one) becomes unsure of what exactly we are reading and what the novel/dream is revealing… but then that’s dreams isn’t it? The novel is also extraordinarily touching in its conclusion – in a characteristically fragmentary manner. It’s a challenging, funny and emotional read.

Forward Reviews (Amazon)

Fans of classical verse and fiction will appreciate the rich allusions, universal themes, and linguistic creativity of Black Inked Pearl. If James Joyce’s dream-like opuses were written from a more feminist perspective, they might look something like Ruth Finnegan’s Black Inked Pearl, a rapturous fantasia of words and images set somewhere between ancient myth and the green shores of modern Ireland.

Finally, if there is any doubt at all, here is an excerpt from the Kirkus Review of Black Inked Pearl:

The captivating tale of a young woman’s journey to reclaim her lost love . . Blurring the lines between poetry and prose, dreams and reality, Kate’s tale recalls the archetypal search for love, as the pursuit permeates every thought of Kate’s . . . Engaging readers with humor and insight, this unique tale is told through lyrical verse: “I said it was friendship / but you wanted love / I said that I’d thought of you / when you wanted–above.” Kate’s romantic quest calls to mind Paradise Lost and Greek mythology as it weaves together biblical allusions, fantasy, and details of the modern day.

The Kirkus Review concludes that Black Inked Pearl is “mythical story of two lovers whose connection transcends space and time.” At Garn Press we agree with Kirkus and recommend Black Inked Pearl not only as a great summer read but also to scholars in the Humanities to read with their students.


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