I really need to get around to updating my list of authors and their books on my blog, it’s been a long time since I did that (Not that anyone has really visited the page recently) but it was something I thought putting into words on the blog would serve as a challenge/reminder. I know it’s been a couple of days since my last post but I finally started partaking in interesting adventures with interesting people so that took away the time I normally spend reading so I am doubly glad I am starting off this week with a book I really enjoyed!
This is still available on NetGalley (I have linked it to the cover page above. It will be archived on the 29th of March and I highly recommend reading this if you are a fan of historical fiction or Irish anything!)
I did not remember the blurb when I started reading this book (as it often happens, to my own advantage)and this meant parts of it came as a welcome surprise. The blurb does give some of it away but I will continue to refrain from doing so, just to be stubborn. Anne Gallagher is proud of her Irish heritage, she was brought up by her grandfather and under whose guidance she honed her artistic skills in storytelling. Her imagination and words are filled with depth and the quotes from Yeats at the beginning of every page add an atmosphere to the tale.He passes away in the beginning and as a dying wish she is finally allowed to visit Ireland (he had never wanted her to go before then) but unfortunately it is to scatter his ashes. The minute she lands in the country and finds her way to places where her family once lived, the tone changes.
The book then takes a surprising turn and we are thrown into the 1920’s and the rebellion that is festering. I do not have much prior experience with the Irish freedom struggle but the story is as old as time, years of oppression causes bottled rage until things cannot be contained. There are a few men at the helm, trying to make way for a better future but the struggle seems long and arduous and maybe not completely resolved even to this day! This tale is more than just Anne’s or her family past and future but of the people who called Ireland home, and those who felt it ran in their blood.After a point, there was no judgement but weariness in the characters and this alternated with Anne’s predicament and how she made the best of things. I liked the book because of all the things I just mentioned and Anne’s romance was but part of the bigger picture. I know there is a need to suspend belief to see the ending through but the tone of narration does make it easier to see it in the realm of partial magical realism. The story is well told and the only reason it was not a full five-star read was the length. I would have liked it a lot more if it was even slightly shorter.
P.S Do not miss the author’s note at the end, it helps put the story more in perspective
This book is set to release on the first of March 2019.
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