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Shannon: A Novel of Ireland
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Shannon: A Novel of Ireland

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  1,180 Ratings  ·  180 Reviews
In the summer of 1922, Robert Shannon, a young American hero of the Great War, lands in Ireland. A Marine chaplain, he was present at the frightful Battle of Belleau Wood, and he still suffers from shell shock. His mentor hopes that a journey Robert had always wanted to make–to find his family roots–will restore his equilibrium and his vocation. Unbeknownst to Robert, a sa ...more
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Published February 10th 2009 by Books on Tape (first published 2009)
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Frank Delaney has proven to be a very consistent author. While not perfect, Shannon proved to be just as satisfying as his other recent works, filled with rich details about his home country and the quirks of its people.

Like with his previous books, Ireland and Tipperary, Delaney crafts a complex and realistic character, and almost uses him as an excuse to explore the natural beauty, history, mythology, and politics of Ireland; the country itself tends to serve as the protagonist in Delaney's wo
Laura Leaney
Dec 29, 2015 Laura Leaney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel reminded, very pleasantly, of the historical fiction I used to read when I was a teenager - the kind of book that you slid into your handbag just in case you got stuck in line somewhere and could sneak in another three minutes to read.

As I am planning a trekking trip to the Irish countryside in June, I thought I'd read fiction set in Ireland rather than the dry crumbs offered by guidebooks. I'm glad I did, as Frank Delaney's book is laced with interesting legends and fascinating fact
Feb 18, 2009 Nathalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't get through his books in one or two sittings because the content is rich and full of history. He must love his native Ireland very much because he takes the reader on a journey around the island similar to that in his other book Ireland. It makes it very hard for me to know where to start should I ever make at trip there! However the journey in this book is very different because it shows the effect of war on soldiers and the people. It is outside the usual for me to read because of this ...more
Jun 12, 2009 J rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a gem! I have read his other novels and thoroughly enjoyed them, but this one is outstanding. You can actually feel the pain the soldier and nurse are experiencing. He made his characters so real. And the plot that includes action, mystery, adventure, well it has it all!
Aug 18, 2009 Loralee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Shannon, a Catholic priest has traveled to Ireland in search of his family roots. All he knows about his family is that his family's name came from the famous Shannon River. Robert is suffering from shell shock and it is hoped that this journey will help in his recovery.

As Robert journeys through Ireland, he meets all types of people. They help him heal as they kindly take him in and feed him, but he helps them in return. He meets a man named Francis who has lost his wife--an army nurse--
Jun 09, 2011 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hated to finish this, last of the Frank Delaney novels, that I have so much enjoyed. I have learned so much history through his books placed in Ireland during the early 1900's. This one is the touching, tender story of a young priest who suffered "shell shock" during the horrific battle of Belleau Wood in France during WW I. He is sent to Ireland from Boston to "recover" while on a journey to discover his family roots. His last name is Shannon, so he naturally is attracted to the Shannon River ...more
Apr 27, 2009 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-reads
Find your soul and you'll live. Lose your soul and you'll die.

A beautifully descriptive book of post WWI Ireland and one Catholic Priest-Robert Shannon's quest to find himself after suffering from shell shock while serving as a Chaplin for the US Marines in France. Visiting the home of his ancestors in beautiful Ireland following the river that bears his name, Robert Shannon must learn how to find his soul and live or lose his soul and die.
Aug 06, 2011 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The spirit of the Irish bard lives on in Frank Delaney. In his novels, Ireland and Tipperary he began a tradition he continues in the novel Shannon. Deftly he intertwines his story of a young priest broken by WWI and the corruption of the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston in the early 1920's with the legends of Ireland from long ago and Irish history of not quite so long ago. As in his previous works the story is excellent, the tales of Ireland fascinating and the language lyrical.
Mar 18, 2009 Jennie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't plan it this way but I happened to be right in the middle of this book on St. Patricks day, how perfect! I adore Ireland and have seen the Shannon River. I really enjoyed this book.
Apr 20, 2009 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
excellent writing; great story about a man searching for his heritage and his soul in beautiful Ireland.

Mar 14, 2009 Candy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a wonderful read! The author captured the essence of Ireland and its' people. The story was absorbing and entertaining!
Apr 04, 2009 Pleasantree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a more complex novel, quite enjoyable.
Feb 07, 2017 Holly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've read Ireland and Tipperary and enjoyed both, but this Delaney book was a struggle. The main character never connected with me and the storyline got tedious very quickly. I kept waiting to get interested in him and it just wasn't happening. Not too far into the book, I felt like I was slogging through the mud of Ireland with yet another view of history I've already explored. I put it down and stuck it back in my bookcase. I may try to pick it up again at some point, but this was not a good f ...more
Ria F
Feb 16, 2017 Ria F rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first hundred pages took awhile, to get into the book. But the last 100 pages were riveting. I gasped out loud when Vincent showed up at Ellie's house!
Nan Wicker
Dec 19, 2016 Nan Wicker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. Especially listening to it on book on CD. should be made into a movie.
Donna Davis
Frank Delaney has done it again.

There are some writers that have such a gift for spinning a compelling tale while seamlessly weaving in subplots that the rest of us can but applaud. He's clearly one of them. I was spellbound by his Ireland, but there are a lot of people with one remarkable book in them. I was surprised again, then, at how good Tipperary was. Now this.

Everything I've read by Delaney thus far (including Shannon) is set in some part of Ireland for most of the novel. He favors the p
Dec 13, 2012 Trisha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Given how much I love anything at all to do with Ireland, it’s a mystery why I’ve never read any of Frank Delaney’s novels before. (And this one was even more of treat because I listened to the audio version which was narrated by the author.) Most of the action takes place in the summer of 1922 along the banks of the river Shannon. Robert Shannon, a Catholic priest and former Marine chaplain who is suffering the effects of severe shell shock, has gone to Ireland to search for his family’s roots. ...more
Diane Meier
May 01, 2009 Diane Meier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay. Better to 'fess up' before someone feels the need to point it out. This book is dedicated to me. And that's a pretty neat thing. Shannon is also - quite on it's own -- a heck of a book.

A clear-eyed look at post traumatic stress disorder - or what we used to call Shell Shock. Frank has had countless letters from military and psychiatrists alike, commending him on the perfect balance of numbness and cognizance. The perfect concept of what it is to be trapped with your memories -- and the fe
Jul 01, 2013 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What do I say about Frank Delaney... or better yet what do I say about the book Shannon? I will admit that I truly love Mr. Delaney's writing. I find it to be not only beautiful, but fascinating and heart-felt. Shannon is a novel that displays these qualities of writing amazingly. Robert Shannon is a young, handsome and wounded character that all of us Irish(decent) displaced can relate to. Archbishop Anthony Sevovicz ads humor to the tale. Vincent Patrick Ryan is wounded, but scarred in ways th ...more
Michael Thompson
Frank Delaney's writing--from what experience I have with it--is always very engaging and has a relaxed, storyteller, feel that I find very nice. The opening to this book I felt was very well done and I liked the conclusion as well. The bulk of the story is following an American priest and former U.S. Marines Chaplain recently returned from World War I and trying to overcome severe shell-shock by tracing his family roots along the Shannon River in Ireland. The story felt like a journey and had m ...more
Oct 14, 2014 Sandra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sandra by: Rosemary Beales
Shelves: fiction
Lovely, easy read that I appreciated when things were a little stressful and I wanted something with a clear beginning, middle, and end, pleasant to read but not a waste of time.

Delaney spins a really good yarn and seems to have done his homework -- he is one of those authors who occasionally amazes me and makes me wonder about the process of preparatory research that fiction authors do.

The story turns around a Catholic priest, chaplain in the U.S. Marine Corps, who left WWI with severe shell
Oct 21, 2009 Djuna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was an accidental read, so I didn't start out with any expectations, except it seemed to be about Ireland from the cover :). I didn't particularly enjoy reading it - there were a few wonderful scenes with local characters telling stories that I enjoyed, and some satisfying traveling and physical exertion descriptions. But the book was about a man during a recovery from PTSD, and the trouble was that as a reader, as the book wore on were exposed to descriptions of horrible graphic violence a ...more
Feb 12, 2014 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story of an Irish American priest who is suffering from severe post traumatic stress as the result of his involvement in World War I. It is told from that perspective but with the modern understanding of what PTSD is all about. He has been sent to Ireland to aid in his recovery. His goal in Ireland is to discover more about his ancestors. Since his last name is Shannon, he chooses to follow the River Shannon and see if he can discover more about his heritage. Unfortunately for someone ...more
May 28, 2014 Bekka rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
3 1/2 stars - (Thanks, Lorna, for your grading system!)
I quite enjoyed this book. The descriptions of the Irish countryside were really wonderful. Makes me want to take a trip! This is a heartbreaking story of a deeply damaged man trying to get over "shell-shock" that he acquired during WWI. The characters are fairly well done, and the language is good. The historical time period is quite well done, and gives an insight into the Irish "troubles" at the beginning of the 20th century. The plot is
Apr 25, 2011 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like books about Ireland and lately I've read a lot set around World War I and II, and about PSTD, or shell shock as it was known in the time of this story. So this was a natural for me.

Catholic priest, Robert Shannon, was a chaplain in World War I and the horrors he witnessed daily in the battle of Belleau Wood left him with shell shock so severe he was near catatonic. Shannon had always been curious about the Shannon name and any connection to the River Shannon. After a partial recovery, his
Feb 14, 2010 Hank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW! I rarely rate a book 5 stars but this is it. This story is dramatic, heartwarming, tense, charming and elucidating. Robert Shannon journeys to Ireland a troubled man. The descriptions of his journey draws anyone but especially one with Irish roots to its shores. Not a bad geography of the island, especially the significant of the Shannon River that runs nearly through it. So engaging I do even remember turning the pages; I did not want it to be over, I wanted his journey to continue but Del ...more
May 15, 2012 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really surprised me. I expected it to be pleasant; I did not expect it to fascinate me. But fascinate me it did. Delaney takes his time with the story, and the layers of it reveal themselves slowly and enchantingly as Robert makes his way up the Shannon River, meeting a host of characters who are at once simple and complex. Some serious territory is covered here--the first world war, civil war, shell shock, murder, discord in the Catholic church--but none of it is sensationalist and no ...more
Robin Evans
I enjoyed reading the first 3/4 of this book. Then it took a sharp downhill turn for me.

*Spoiler Alert* This is the story of Robert Shannon, a young Catholic priest who serves as chaplain to the troops in WWI. He suffers from "shell shock" and returns home a changed man. Hoping that it will help him recover, he makes a journey across Ireland in search of his ancestry. He travels along the Shannon river, which shares his name. Corruption in the Catholic church is also a sub-plot. Along his journe
Jul 13, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Shannon” by Frank Delaney is unlike his other novels of Ireland. Even though it still takes place in Ireland and features the River Shannon as an important backdrop, it is less about the country and the land as it is truly the fictional account of one man’s personal journey to recover from post-traumatic stress disorder. As such a story, it is very interesting reading, as it weaves together Robert Shannon’s, the main character’s, experiences in Ireland tracing his family history and his experie ...more
Sep 14, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first novel by Frank Delaney and I was quite impressed. He took a highly regrettable situation and made it human and enlightening. The story of a man that is recovering from shellshock after WW II by tracing his ancestors along the Shannon River in Ireland. The authors heritage shines through with the characteristics of the Irish people, landscape and legends. And that the author himself does the reading allows the listener to know and feel what was intended for that particular scene ...more
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Review 3 28 Jul 30, 2013 06:12PM  
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Frank Delaney was an author, a broadcaster on both television and radio, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, lecturer, and a judge of many literary prizes. Delaney interviewed more than 3,500 of the world's most important writers. NPR called him 'The Most Eloquent Man in the World'. Delaney was born and raised in County Tipperary, Ireland, spent more than twenty-five years in England before movi ...more
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“Find your soul and you'll live. Lose your soul and you'll die.” 10 likes
“The human face does not always reflect the beauty that may repose in the soul.” 7 likes
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