- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Most Helpful Favorable Review
5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.
In his first novel in the Heirs of Ireland saga, Michael K. Rey
posted by KimberlysBookshelf on January 5, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
As a foul-smelling fog rolls in, Irish potato farmer Liam Hanley
This is the story of one family and a friend who strike out for America with the last of the family money to find a way to make a living, but it's so much more. It's the tale of the Irish who came in the 1800's, hoping for a land of opportunity, only to find that doors are shut in their faces and the opportunities are for others. Many of them ended up just as poor as they started out, only now they're in a foreign land, with no way to return home.
Many were taken advantage of on the journey, robbed by bandits and thieves, sick and dying of illness in steerage when they paid full fare for their passage, marked as fair game when they finally landed on shore and taken advantage of some more.
In this story, Clare Hanley and her brother Seamus, along with their friend Pierce Brady, leave Ireland during the Potato Famine to make their way to America. Along the way, there are many precarious situations and an interesting surprise when they follow instructions given by Madame O'Riley, a professional keener back in Ireland, to ask for a Patrick Feagles once they reach America. She also gives them a pendant that they are to show to him.
There are some definite twists to keep you reading, and a sad surprise nearer the end of the story. There's a bit of romance as well.
This novel kept my interest based on the history and the obviously impeccable research that went into it. When it came to the story, however, it fell a bit flat for me. Although there are lots of happenings, much of it felt flat and one-dimensional, maybe even superficial: "this is what happened", not a feeling of being involved as it was happening. At times the writing was also very "wordy", especially noticeable near the beginning of the novel. Example: "Davin rubbed the feral brown tufts of his hair." The word "feral" brings to mind ferocious, slavering beasts, definitely not hair. :)
This is billed as "Christian historical fiction", but I think it fits well into mainstream historical fiction. It is the first in a trilogy. I don't regret reading it; I did enjoy the history and some insights into subjects like the Irish Army of the Mexican Republic, where Irish soldiers switched sides to fight with Mexico against America, but I never truly connected enough to be curious about what happens next in the series.
QUOTES (from an eGalley; may be different in final copy):
Their voices emanated from the one-room, thatched-roof mud hovel where many of the Hanley ancestry were birthed with groans, raised in squalor, and died without distinction.
Liam struggled to console himself with the belief his life was too full of misfortune four God to strike him yet another blow.
BLOGGERS: Have you reviewed this book? If so, please feel free to leave a link to your review in the comments section; I will also add your link to the body of my review.
Writing: 3 out of 5 stars
Plot: 4 out of 5 stars
Characters: 3 out of 5 stars
Reading Immersion: 3 out 5 stars
BOOK RATING: 3.25 out of 5 stars
Sensitive Reader: Very mild and rare profanity
Book Club Recommendation: Maybe. For those that are interested in the historical aspects, yes.
posted by jewelknits on July 11, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 22, 2014
Writing style that wanders into pretentiousness, without the content to back it up. Characters never really rang true, relationships were never convincingly developed, motivations were totally absent…and the romance was so unconvincing and without basis, it detracted from the historical details and imagery that could have been so much more interesting with real people to bring them to life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.