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Posted February 19, 2012
Posted September 15, 2011
In his debut novel, Lagan Love, Peter Murphy takes his readers on an intimate, murky romp through Dublin's darkest alleys. We are introduced to a fascinating, but also somewhat disturbing history of this land, its people, and its legends. There are points in the novel where one finds themselves somewhat adrift, and the reader must be willing to trust the author at these points to lead them back toward more comfortable ground. Lagan Love does challenge its readers. By paralleling Ireland's economic rise and decline in the 1980's, with Janice and Aidan's own willingness to give up their 'souls' to the Lenanshee in their lust for fame and fortune, Murphy does an exemplary job of holding a mirror up to the reader's own face. A good story, well told, with some truly beautiful, poetic descriptions. My only wish is that the author had delved deeper into the marvelous myths and creatures of Ireland and brought them more to life. Hopefully he will do so in the sequel!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 8, 2011
Once the pages of Peter Murphy's novel, Lagan Love, was opened I was instantly swept into Dublin, Ireland. Lagan Love centers around a group of people who are just beginning to find themselves. Aidan charges (or more aptly drunkenly stumbles) into the novel as Dublin's fresh young poet, dubbed as the voice of Ireland's conscience. Janice, a young women from Toronto, has moved to Dublin to study at the prestigious Trinity School. As Janice immerses herself in the new culture she also finds herself on a journey of self-discovery. After finding herself in a somewhat shaky relationship with Aidan, Janice decides to follow the path of becoming an artist. Mix in Gwen, Aidan's mysterious and other worldly editor, and you find yourself in the middle of Murphy's intoxicating tale of love, heart ache, and the cost of making your dreams a reality.
Murphy does a fine job in painting his 1980's Ireland as a place filled with class, socioeconomic, and religious strife. It doesn't take long to see that many characters in Lagan Love are disenchanted with many of the European countries, England being at the top of the list. Many of the characters are prejudice and have no problem throwing around racial remarks involving those in other social classes, of a different faith, or from a different country. This all seemed very realistic to me. However, Murphy also showed his Dubliners as a proud people, who didn't forget history and spoke of it frequently.
The characters in Lagan Love frequently spend their mornings, afternoons, and evenings in pubs drinking, smoking, gossiping, complaining, and speaking about about their times growing up. Murphy makes the pub a familiar place where everybody knows everyone and their business. The Cheers song, "Where everybody knows your name" comes to mind while following the characters from pub to pub.
Religion also plays a role in Murphy's novel. While reading I definitely felt the tension between the Protestants and Catholics. Murphy does a great job in showing what turmoil in the Catholic church can do to men and women in their own homes.
While I enjoyed Lagan Love, it took me a few chapters to get my footing. At times I felt there was too much history and 'sightseeing' being written about, which took away from the characters and their journey. It also took me a while to adjust to the Irish vernacular, however it did make the novel that much more realistic.
I enjoyed watching the character dynamics unfold between Janice and Aidan. When Janice met Aidan she was a shy, self conscious girl. Throughout the novel she evolved into a self confident, daring women. However, Aidan stayed much the same. The novel started showing him as an unhappy, egocentric character and ended much the same. Murphy makes the case that both Janice's evolution and Aidan's stalemate could be linked to Gwen.
I definitely recommend Lagan Love, Peter Murphy's first novel. I look forward to reading more literary work from him. This complimentary book was received for the purpose of review from The Fiction Studio.
~OSUCandace, Reviewer for Bookpleasures
Posted June 7, 2011
LAGAN LOVE by Peter Murphy is an interesting novel set in 1980 Ireland. It is written with great details with characters that are not only realistic but will also capture your hearts as they embark on a long journey through Ireland. This is the story of the love of Ireland that was hidden in the lyrics about a beautiful woman in a 15th century son,My Lagan Love.It has love,lust,desire,passion,dreams lost,a restless past,volatile anger,myths,poetry,a blend of old ways and new. We meet Janice, Aidan,and Sinead. Janice,who has grown bored with her Toronto sheltered existence,and desires to embark on an adventure to Ireland. She wants recognition and a place in Ireland's future. Aidan, a up and rising poet,who is looking for redemption,who leads her through Ireland's veil of Celtic Twilight.Sinead,who once went out with Aidan,her parents are being torn apart by rumors of church scandal.When Aidan's ghosts of mythology start preying on the friend's everything is at risk of being lost. This is the story of lust,dreams lost,the price paid for said dreams as well as Ireland's myths and legends. At a time when Ireland is on the brink of prosperity and foreigners. This is a wonderful debut novel of Ireland's old ways,Celtic Crosses ruins and reveals the complex layers of Ireland and its people. This story will appear to romance readers as well as history bluffs, and anyone who enjoys a good Ireland tale. This book was received for the purpose of review from Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc. and the publisher and details can be found at Fiction Studio Books and My Book Addiction and More.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 17, 2011
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