Sunday, February 22, 2009

Book Review: Galway Bay

Here is a brief description of "Galway Bay" from the Hachette website:

“Here at last is one Irish family's epic journey, capturing the tragedy and triumph of the Irish-American experience. In a rousing tale that echoes the myths and legends of Ireland herself, young Honora Keeley and Michael Kelly wed and start a family, inhabiting a hidden Ireland where fishermen and tenant farmers find solace in their ancient faith, songs, stories, and communal celebrations. Selling both their catch--and their crops--to survive, these people subsist on the potato crop--their only staple food. But when blight destroys the potatoes three times in four years, a callous government and uncaring landlords turn a natural disaster into The Great Starvation that will kill one million. Honora and Michael vow their children will live. The family joins two million other Irish refugees in one of the greatest rescues in human history: the Irish Emigration to America. Danger and hardship await them there. Honora and her unconventional sister Maire watch their seven sons as they transform Chicago from a frontier town to the "City of the Century", fight the Civil War, and enlist in the cause of Ireland's freedom. The Kelly clan is victorious. This heroic story sheds brilliant light on the ancestors of today's 44 million Irish Americans.”

When the package first arrived with Mary Pat Kelly’s “Galway Bay” to review, I will admit that I found the sheer size of the book to be a little bit daunting. Encompassing 562 pages, the work is not something that you are going to breeze through in a day. However, once I started reading the book, I found that it was very difficult to put down and even wish that it would have been a little bit longer!

If you have any Irish heritage or are interested in historical novels, then I think you will find this book to be very interesting. Although it is a work of fiction, the events in the book are historically accurate. I completely enjoyed being transported back to a time long ago and I learned a lot about Irish history by reading the book, particularly of the potato famine. Kelly is extremely knowledgeable about the topic of which she writes which makes for a credible and intriguing novel!


The Button Box Girls said...

Thanks for sharing the review! I just might try this one! I have 2 very light books to read now, but I love stories like Galway Bay!

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