Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyCoyne's previous novels (among them The Legacy and The Piercing have had hefty sales as mass market paperbacks; this family saga is his most ambitiousand successfulendeavor yet. There are two brothers and two sisters in the DeLacey clan; they were raised on an Illinois farm by their mother, Caitlin, who came to the U.S. from Ireland in 1940. As the novel opens in 1982, an elderly Caitlin dies of a bullet shot from a gun owned by her son Emmett, the only child still living at home. The true circumstances of her death are revealed at the end of this fast-moving story, which builds in suspense as the relationships among the siblings become more and more intricate. At the root of the tale's intrigue is the secret of Caitlin's past, which involves the the Sinn Fein and the son of the Dublin family that once employed her. Skillfully managed plot twists give this novel strong commercial appeal. (April 29)
Library Journal - Library JournalCoyne departs from his usual genre of horror to produce a searching tale of a family's secrets in which an Irish woman's life is revealed through her children's discoveries after she is killed on their Illinois farm in 1982. The mother, Caitlin, who found a job in Dublin as a maid in 1940 by pretending to be unmarried, became pregnant by the son of her Protestant employers and emigrated to America. Her son Michael is a manipulative Catholic bishop; Catty marries to get away from home; Paddy Jack joins the pro golf tour; Emmett, a Vietnam POW, returns home to care for his mother and in turn to be sheltered from his memories; and Maggie is a foreign correspondent. It is Maggie who seeks Caitlin's killer. This well-written story is a sensitive character study that is not easily categorized. For popular collections. Andrea Lee Shuey, Dallas P.L.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalYA This family saga goes back and forth between the years 1940 to 1982. Caitlin DeLacey is a strong-willed Irish immigrant who comes with her husband, Cormac, to the United States. She has left her infant daughter behind and knows that she'll never be able to return because of her IRA involvement. She is carrying the child of her former employer's son, who, because of Caitlin's phone call, has been imprisoned for his IRA involvement. The DeLacey family's life in Illinois is full of hard work, hardships, and family secrets. After several years in the U.S., Cormac decides to return to Ireland and their daughter. Caitlin is left on the farm with her five children, each of whom go their own way. Finally, Caitlin is alone with her son Emmett. When she is shot, Emmett is accused of killing her. In proving his innocence, many family secrets that have managed to divide and destroy their family are revealed. At times the characters are a bit stereotyped, but there is enough action and suspense in the plot to keep YAs' interest. Erin Hayden, Prince George's County Public School System, Md.
- Penguin Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)
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