Monday, March 16, 2009

Blog Tour: Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly


Happy St. Patrick's Day to all! I am of Irish descent, (really I'm just a mutt, but I do know I have Irish blood) so I was thrilled to read Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly.

Here's a description of the book:
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.

Thoughts: In the interest of full confession, I have not yet finished the book. It's taking a little longer to read than I expected, because it's not the kind of book you read quickly. It's a sweeping story...one that tells many aspects of a life, and since each story unraveled is enjoyable and/or interesting, I decided to take my time with the book rather than rush through it.

Unless something drastically changes, though, this is a book I feel I can recommend. It's interesting because woven throughout the daily lives of the characters are old tales of Irish lore. The characters are mainly sympathetic and their struggles very real. I keep wanting to read and was even reluctant to put the book down to write this post!

And of course it's a sweeping saga spanning continents and time and lives which makes it all the more appealing!

If this book sounds interesting to you, you might be interested in a blogtalkradio show with the author which is happening today at 11 am Eastern. Sadly, I work at this time, but I've heard these shows are really interesting and fun. You can learn more here.

Also, you might be interested in this interesting article about the origin of the book here.




Amy

16 comments:

Ali said...

I'm glad you posted this because I've been wondering about this book since seeing the title here and there. Sounds interesting! I'm glad you're enjoying it--that's what this is all about, after all, right?

Miriam Parker said...

Great post, Amy! Glad you are enjoying the experience of reading it.

Serena said...

I really adore this book and cannot recommend it enough...its already on my top books of 2009!

Dar said...

I loved this book and would definitely recommend it.

Beth F said...

Nice post -- I'm sure I'd love the book.

Holly said...

Great review. And when you finish it, you will still be able to recommend it. Truly one of those just really good books!

Toni said...

Great Review Amy.. I am still enjoying the book also...but I know that NO matter what happens I can fully recommend this book! And Guess what... I am a bit of a mutt.. with a dab of Irish in there too! Happy Blog Day.

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

Most of us are mutts! My maternal grandfather was 100% Irish, so I'm 25% ... wearing my green proudly today (and remember those pub-sponsored road races ?!?)

I've been following *Galway Bay* along its tour today. It looks like a great read, although the size is a bit daunting to me these days. I don't know if it's the promise of spring, or what, but I can't stay focused with that long a book lately!

I'm planning to listen to the archived interview with Mary Pat Kelly - sounds like she did an impressive amount of research.

S. Krishna said...

My only hesitation about this book would be that it would take awhile to read. But I've been hearing so many great things about it, I'll have to give it a chance!

Luanne said...

Sweeping saga is a great description. I couldn't put it down either!

Priya said...

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog.

Alyce said...

It is a wonderful story, and hard to put down! I hope you enjoy the rest of the book - what am I saying? I know you'll love the rest of the book! :)

Monica (Monniblog) said...

It's always interesting to hear someone's thoughts mid-book ... you can usually tell if you're liking it, but there is a hesitation to rave and endorse it 100%. Serena (Savvy Wit & Verse) is having a giveaway for copies if you wanted to link to her.

Jen said...

Evidently I'm not the only one craving this book after seeing this blog tour, I'm 5th in line for it at the library!

bermudaonion said...

I loved this book and think you will too once you finish it!

Anna said...

I hope you had a chance to finish the book. I absolutely loved it and couldn't put it down.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

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