Gracelin O'Malley

Gracelin O'Malley

4.7 23
by Ann Moore
     
 

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Nineteenth-century Ireland was a place of harsh suffering and haunting beauty, of famine and fortune, of tragedy and triumph. This rich, evocative novel captures the dreams of one extraordinary young woman who lived through those dark times-and found hope for the future....

Author Biography:

Overview

Nineteenth-century Ireland was a place of harsh suffering and haunting beauty, of famine and fortune, of tragedy and triumph. This rich, evocative novel captures the dreams of one extraordinary young woman who lived through those dark times-and found hope for the future....

Author Biography:

Editorial Reviews

Cathy Cash Spellman
...you'll take Gracelin O'Malley to your heart and keep her there long after you've finished reading this beautiful book.
Eileen Goudge
An Irish saga so lilting and elegantly written you'll be hearing Irish music in your head.
Publishers Weekly
The Troubles are harrowingly described in this finely wrought tale of an Irish beauty married above her station to an English landlord. Grace is the light of her household and only 16 when she is married off to Bram Donnelly, the lord of the manor. Her crippled brother, Sean, hates to see her go, knowing that his friend Morgan McDonagh loves her. She quickly realizes that Bram is a cruel, abusive drunk with a shady past, and that she does not fit in his world. Grace gives birth to twins a boy and a girl but only the girl survives, much to her husband's displeasure. When the potato blight hits and starving people come to the estate for food, Bram shows his true colors, not only refusing to help, but murdering some of them and turning his wrath upon Grace for feeding them. When he realizes he could lose the manor, he hatches a scheme with his mistress to come up with a male heir. Tensions escalate among his suffering tenants, and he knows he's a marked man he even rides his property with his young daughter tied to his back to keep from being shot. Woven into the story is a subplot involving Sean, Morgan and other desperate peasants who have begun to talk of revolution. Grace, somehow stronger than ever, is determined to help. The searing conditions of the Irish famines, exacerbated by the unspeakable greed and brutality of the English, come to grim life in this realistic tale too realistic for some, perhaps but Moore's refusal to ignore the stark plight of the Irish and her lyrical, pitch-perfect prose raise this book far above the romance genre and make for historical fiction at its finest. Agent, Jean Naggar. (Aug. 7) Forecast: An appended interview with the author, attractive cover artand an accessible price make this a good candidate for book group reading. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
KLIATT
Because her father said he could see the light of the sea shining in her eyes when she was born, she was named Gracelin O'Malley for Granueile, the famous Pirate Queen, and was destined to prove herself as brave as the pirate name she bore. Living in the terrible time of the potato famines in mid-19th-century Ireland, her family were farmers, not as poor as some, who struggled against disease, weather, and the British occupation to scrape a meager existence from a tenancy they could never own. In a rare stroke of luck, Grace at 15 is chosen by Squire Donnelly, twice-widowed son of an English lord and the landowner to whom they pay their quarterly rent, to become his third wife and, most significantly, to bring him a male heir. Although many envy her rise in fortune, Grace's life is far from happy as she discovers more about Bram Donnelly, the dutiful life she is expected to live as his wife, and the circumstances of the deaths of his earlier wives. Grace's story is set against the turmoil of the rising Irish rebellion, spurred by years of famine and poverty. Her crippled brother Sean and his lifelong friend Morgan, whose heart was broken when Grace married, assume critical roles fighting for the freedom of their countrymen from British rule. Beautiful descriptions of the countryside, the lilting Irish brogue, and the colorfully drawn characters bring to life rural Ireland of the 1840s. This suspenseful novel follows the course of a passionate love story and ex plores the strength and devotion that hold the O'Malley family together, and at the same time brings to light a critical period in Irish history, the origin of the tragic conflict which still continues in that country today.KLIATT Codes: SA*—Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2001, Penguin Putnam, New American Library, 398p., $13.95. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Susan G. Allison; Libn., Lewiston H.S., Lewiston, ME , November 2001 (Vol. 35, No. 6)
Kirkus Reviews
A deft if unshaded celebration of the usual strong and beautiful woman taking on an abusive husband, famine, and political rebellion in the Ireland of the 1840s, where the people are dying while their British landlords sit idle. Vivid historical detail gives the story of beautiful Gracelin O'Malley, who lives with father Patrick, disabled brother Sean, and grandmother Granna on a small farm, greater texture, but the cast, though sensitively drawn, stays hostage to the demands of the plot. Gracelin's mother died in the accident that maimed Sean, and the family has never recovered from the loss, though Granna and Gracelin have tried to keep things going. But times are hard, the harvests are failing, the British keep increasing the rents, and those who can, leave. Gracelin, a loving daughter, doesn't protest when her father arranges for her, at 16, to marry their wealthy British landlord Bram Donelly in exchange for canceling the family's debts. Bram's been married twice before, with both wives dying in suspicious circumstances; Gracelin thinks she can cope, though Sean and longtime admirer, handsome Morgan McDonagh, are not so certain. The honeymoon is agreeable and Donelly House magnificent, but when Gracelin falls pregnant, Bram becomes abusive. The potato harvest has failed again, the people are starving, and he objects to Gracelin's helping them. She gives birth to twins, but only a daughter survives, and, as Bram's brutal behavior escalates she suspects that he may have fatally harmed his other wives. As famine deaths mount, Sean and Morgan plot rebellion against the British, and Gracelin defies Bram by feeding the needy. Enraged, he imprisons her, pregnant again, in the attic. Thistime, though, Gracelin is strong and able to fight back, even if it need be by murder. Emotionally rather high-pitched, but an agreeable read.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451212412
Publisher:
Signet
Publication date:
03/02/2004
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
4.32(w) x 6.68(h) x 1.21(d)

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Gracelin O'Malley 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Mirella More than 1 year ago
First, let me say that this is one of the finest books I have ever read - and that's saying a lot because I read one or two novels every week. At the heart of the story is Irish born Gracelin O'Malley who is one of the most endearing, memorable characters I have encountered. I have ever read about. Just as fascinating are the other characters in the story, chiefly, her family. This is a tightly-bonded family that works hard not only to survive, but to succeed. For the benefit of the family, Gracelin's father betroths her to Squire Donnelly, a wealthy nobleman. Gracelin enters willingly into the marriage with the promise that her family will be looked after. At first, everything goes well, but it does not take long for Donnelly's dark side to show. Angry and evil, he physically abuses Gracelin and their child. His crude and callous personality creates enemies wherever he goes, whoever he encounters. Despite the horrendous cruelties Gracelin endures, she does all that she can to help her family and people who suffer immense devastation by the potato famine that is ravishing Ireland. The story brings to light the aloofness of the English and their direct contribution to the starvation and hundreds of thousands of Irish. The story is powerful, poignant, and gripping, accurate in historical detail, and vibrant in its telling. Ann Moore is truly a masterful writer  who has penned a true epic in three novels, of which Gracelin O'Malley is the first. This extraordinary trilogy is definitely one to be savoured and kept in the personal collections of readers everywhere.  I have not yet read the other two books in the trilogy, Leaving Ireland and 'Til Morning Light, but rest assured, they are on my list! Incredibly delicious - you have to read this book! I can't rave enough about it.
MartybMB More than 1 year ago
Strong story of the Irish potato famine. Shows the grit and strength of the Irish people. The next books in the trilogy are not as interesting as "Gracelin O'Malley." The second novel shows the difficulties the Irish immigrants had in America. Almost made mr think of the immigrats flooding across our borders today. Have not finished book three but am finding it unrealistic. But strongly recommend Grace.
eochicka More than 1 year ago
I loved it, would suggest it to anyone. It was great, and showed the deep faith of the Irish people as well as the hardships they faced. LOVED it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with Gracline from the start! Every movment and turn brought a feeling of amorousness intertwined with tear. Beautiful!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an American Irish girl this struck a chord. My family left for America during this famine. After reading this book I am more aware of what it cost them and I am grateful for their courage and stamina. This book is tragic and inspiring at the same time. It is a page turner. I simply could not put it down. Erin go braugh!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an American Irish girl this struck a chord. My family left for America during this famine. After reading this book I am more aware of what it cost them and I am grateful for their courage and stamina. Anne Moore is an incredible author. She writes a story that is tragic and inspiring at the same time. This is a page turner. I simply could not put it down. Erin go braugh!!
Anonymous 13 days ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story line...all 4 books in the series...however I thought 11.99 and 12.99 was too high...the first book I got was only 7.99
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Singing_Bird More than 1 year ago
In the midst of tremendous challenges Gracelin finds courage and creativity to face them head-on. As a women who lived, when women were the property of their husbands, she finds her center and lives from it. The story also opened my eyes to the terror that people had to deal with during the Potato Famine of Ireland. Not only were the native Irish facing death from hunger but they were also being treated heartlessly by many of the British who were living in their country. This book was a terrific read and the sad part is that the same story is happening today.
auntbea73 More than 1 year ago
The cover is a bit misleading, if you are looking for a light escapism novel this isn't it. It is, however, riveting, heartbreaking, educational, and so much more. I couldn't leave it alone until I finished it and then I felt terribly sad that it was over. The book details a portion of Gracelin's life and the terrible time of the potato famines in Ireland. I have recommended it to friends and will probably read it again. I am hoping that the ending paves the way for another book that continues the story of Gracelin and what is left of her family. Being of Irish descent and somewhat knowledgeable of Ireland's history this novel really paints a picture of how very very difficult the day to day existence was and how resilient the people were to survive. A great read and a great find.
scnole More than 1 year ago
I bought this book a couple of years ago and forgot about it. When I found it this weekend I began reading and couldn't put the book down. I had heard about the potato famine in Ireland but had forgotten how tragic it was until I read this book. Graceline and her family are brought to life and you feel their suffering. I loved this book. After I finished reading it I went to Barnes and Noble and bought "Leaving Ireland" the sequel. I can't wait to see what happens to Graceline and Sean in America.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book left me in complete awe. I can only remember one other book that got me so caught up in a character that I found it hard to sleep at night wondering what was going to happen next. (The other book was Sarah Canary.I don't remember the authors name.) This book touched me deeply. I run a day care and on a daily basis throw out alot of veggies that the children will not eat and after reading this book I feel guilty throwing it away. Thinking of gracelin and her family's struggle. I can't even look at a potato the same way. I went through Advanced Placement History in school and learned about the irish famine but nothing we learned struck as deep. I think that this is a must read for anyone who is irish, or decended from ireland. ( Wouldn't Hurt for highschool students to be required to read this as well. We had to read The Jungle and this is right up there.) This book was written so well. I can't even find the words to express it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was fantastic! I felt that I was in Ireland at the time of the famine. The historical aspect was wonderful. I had no idea of what really happened over there and all of the turmoil with the English until I read this book. After I finished it I went right out to get the second because I just had to find out what happened to Gracelin.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book about a year ago and I just couldn't seem to put this book down. It is a story told with such magic that you feel you are there in Ireland with Grace and her family, in the beautiful country described by Moore. Keep a box of Kleenex handy because you will need it as you read about the troubles and heartaches that Gracelin encounters, and the strength that gets her through it. Now I can't wait to buy the sequel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I cried at the end of this novel but knew things would work out for Grace. She is incredibly strong but not to the point of unbeleivability. She goes through so much and yet does not question her faith. She was only an innocent country girl who married a cruel man to save her family. Yet through the entire book she seems still innocent, and is forced to hide her personality form the high society which she married herself into.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book totally caught my attention and wouldn't let it go! I took this book with me on a trip to Australia, and had conflicting decisions! I just wanted to finish reading the book! ;-D Ann Moore does a wonderful job of describing Grace's life and the beautiful land that she lives in. When I was done I was actually disappointed that I was done reading about Grace! I wanted more. I was excited when we got home and found that there is a second book due out shortly! I'll be placing my pre-order right away!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In 1840¿s Ireland, young Gracelin O¿Malley comes of age in a country torn apart with rebellion, disease, and famine. Married at the tender age of fifteen to local squire, Bram Donnelly, Grace¿s ascent into adulthood is rapid and heart wrenching. Though her new husband is able to provide her with a material security previously unknown to her, his abusive behavior causes her endless misery.

And when the potato crop is destroyed by disease, Grace tries to help the starving population of the countryside. Bram¿s discovery of her good deeds results in an explosion of his temper, and Grace returns to the bosom of her family. Tragedy continues to strike as more countrymen succumb to death and disease, and landlords like Bram fear for their lives when they continue to evict their tenants. Rebellion is on the rise, as men like Grace¿s brother and friend Morgan organize groups of followers to combat the injustice done them by the English.

But author Moore has painted Grace as a heroic woman who continues to hope as friends and family are taken from her. Despite her misfortunes, she clings desperately to a thread of happiness, as she and her daughter Mary Kate continue to live day-to-day in difficult times.

An emotionally deep novel, filled with intense moments of self-sacrifice, Ms. Moore¿s work of historical fiction will entrance the reader with its deeply haunting beauty. The lyrical voices of the long-dead Irish people will live forever through this wonderful novel, as readers eagerly anticipate the continuation of Grace¿s saga.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This wonderful emotional depiction of the famine years touches the reader like no other historical novel.The reader finds herself wrapped up in the relationships and emotions that keep the characters of Ann Moore's novel alive. Never before has a book been written that stirred love, frustration, hopelessness, compassion and anger all up under one cover. Gracelin O'Malley is a strong and unforgettable character - one can't help but love her! They will find themselves waiting in anticipation for her return in a follow up novel by this extrodinary author! A must read book for all historical fiction fans!
Guest More than 1 year ago
'The Troubles are harrowingly described in this finely wrought tale of an Irish beauty married above her station to an English landlord. Grace is the light of her household and only 16 when she is married off to Bram Donnelly, the lord of the manor. Her crippled brother, Sean, hates to see her go, knowing that his friend Morgan McDonagh loves her. She quickly realizes that Bram is a cruel, abusive drunk with a shady past, and that she does not fit in his world. Grace gives birth to twins - a boy and a girl - but only the girl survives, much to her husband's displeasure. When the potato blight hits and starving people come to the estate for food, Bram shows his true colors, not only refusing to help, but murdering some of them and turning his wrath upon Grace for feeding them. When he realizes he could lose the manor, he hatches a scheme with his mistress to come up with a male heir. Tensions escalate among his suffering tenants, and he knows he's a marked man - he even rides his property with his young daughter tied to his back to keep from being shot. Woven into the story is a subplot involving Sean, Morgan and other desperate peasants who have begun to talk of revolution. Grace, somehow stronger than ever, is determined to help. The searing conditions of the Irish famines, exacerbated by the unspeakable greed of the English, come to grim life in this realistic tale - too realistic for some, perhaps - but Moore's refusal to ignore the stark plight of the Irish and her lyrical, pitch-perfect prose raise this book far above the romance genre and make for historical fiction at its finest.'