From a Clear Blue Sky: Surviving the Mountbatten Bomb (Paperback)

From a Clear Blue Sky: Surviving the Mountbatten Bomb By Timothy Knatchbull Cover Image
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The prize-winning, “exceptionally moving” memoir of a family boat trip, an IRA bombing, and a teenager’s loss of his twin brother (The Telegraph).

Christopher Ewart-Biggs Literary Award Winner and PEN/JR Ackerley Prize Nominee

On an August weekend in 1979, fourteen-year-old Timothy Knatchbull joined his family on a boat trip off the shore of Mullaghmore in County Sligo, Ireland. By noon, an Irish Republican Army bomb had destroyed the boat, leaving four dead.

The author survived, but his grandparents, family friend, and twin brother did not. Lord Mountbatten, his grandfather, was the target, and became one of the IRA’s most high-profile assassinations. Knatchbull and his parents were too badly injured to attend the funerals of those killed, which only intensified their profound sense of loss.

Telling this story decades later, Knatchbull not only revisits these terrible events but also writes an intensely personal account of human triumph over tragedy—a story of recovery not just from physical wounds but deep emotional trauma.

From a Clear Blue Sky takes place in Ireland at the height of the Troubles and gives compelling insight into that period of Irish history. But more importantly, it brings home that while calamity can strike at any moment, the human spirit is able to forgive, to heal, and to move on.

“A minute by minute story of what happened that day, and what happened afterwards.” —Daily Mail

“This is an extremely moving book. Beyond providing a phenomenally detailed evocation of his own family’s trauma, Knatchbull has lots of wise things to say about how we survive horrors—of all kinds—in our lives.” — Zoë Heller, author of the Booker Prize finalist Notes on a Scandal

“A very poignant, clearsighted, heartbreaking but ultimately positive account.” —Hugh Bonneville, The New York Times

About the Author

Timothy Knatchbull studied social and political science at Cambridge, and attended Harvard’s Kennedy School. He was a filmmaker at BBC Television and the Discovery Channel for more than a decade; Knatchbull currently works in urban design and community building. His book From a Clear Blue Sky is Knatchbull’s account of the 1979 IRA bombing that targeted his family, as well as its consequences over the past four decades.

Praise For…

“Affecting and intimate.” —Mail on Sunday
“Astonishing, deeply moving.” —Choice
“A book that is as saddening as it is sad—but much more angering than it is angry.” —Daily Mail
“He writes with great tenderness and an admirable lack of sentimentality.” —Zoë Heller, author of the Booker Prize finalist Notes on a Scandal
“Testament to a remarkable, benevolent soul. . . . With this public love letter he has found a way to say goodbye.” —The Sunday Times

Product Details
ISBN: 9781504089333
ISBN-10: 1504089332
Publisher: Open Road Media
Publication Date: December 19th, 2023
Pages: 330
Language: English